How to Digitalize the Judicial System in Pakistan

Letter to the Editor

The Judicial system in Pakistan is based on a single file. The case hearing is recorded on a computer and then printed while the photocopies of documents are attached, that are verified and signed by the court. The Judge makes his judgment based on this file while the appeal courts will also use this file for their judgment.

The current process of creating and using this file involves many hardships for the citizens of Pakistan. Besides paying bribes for getting copies of the file, there is also issues with easy access to lawyers and clients, while record management is not only a problem but with the destruction of the paper file through fires/floods, it is also a liability. Not to mention the huge waste of paper and resources.

If this system of filing used in the judicial courts of Pakistan is digitized, it will benefit everyone. And with technologies available nowadays this digitalization process can be achieved with minimum disruption of the justice system. To digitalize the judicial filing system, a simple software that can record and scan documents, while also upload the data to an online cloud database that can be accessed online by the relevant people, is required.

The software will have a word processor; that would be used to record and edit the court hearing file. Each days hearing will also be verified by the Judge, through a digital signature. The software will also be able to scan documents and attach them to the court file and for security, each document would have to be signed and stamped by the Judge and scanner. All the data will be uploaded to a cloud storage, which will be accessible via the internet.

Such software will have minimum disruption to the judicial system as this is the current process, and only the addition of scanning and uploading data has been added to the task, which can be done automatically through the software and scanner. The online database will provide easy access to clients, lawyers, police, government departments and judges for relevant court rulings. It can also be used to provide statistical database and searchable database of court rulings.

The Ministry of Law can also request Google or Microsoft to help develop a secure system, as both companies have a good presence in Pakistan. Or the software can be developed through local software houses and tested by a third party consultant before final payment.

Engr. Shahryar Khan Baseer


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