The Bar opposes the implementation of the electronic filing system

The ‘abrupt’ implementation of the e-filing system in the lower courts of Kerala has angered some of the legal fraternity. Discontent is brewing among several lawyers who have objected to the judiciary’s alleged neglect of their grievances.

The Trivandrum Bar Association has decided to continue the physical mode of filing applications until sufficient infrastructure is in place for reform. In addition, the association, along with others in the district, will observe a black day on Monday as part of the escalating protests against the move.

Trivandrum Bar Association President Anayara Shaji and Secretary Prijice Fasil said the implementation had wreaked havoc on the lower court justice system. The e-filing system which was introduced without adequate preparation has been an impediment to the possibility of filing applications without delay and expediting the hearing of cases of an urgent nature.

They also blamed the judiciary for trying to implement the reform in the country in a way similar to what existed in developed countries. “Poor internet speed and non-availability of scanners hampered the e-filing process,” they said.

They say it took more than four hours to file a civil suit in a Munsiff court over the e-filing request, whereas it would take just a few minutes when submitting the requests in person. Strangely, the judiciary had doubled down on lawyers’ efforts by insisting on both electronic filing and physical submissions.

Worse still, the lack of training provided to court staff made it difficult to respond adequately to lawyers’ questions. Although the matter was brought to the attention of the Kerala High Court and the district court authorities, there was no favorable response, Mr Shaji said.

The general body of the Bar Association of Trivandrum had decided a few days ago to follow only the physical mode of filing until the justice ensures the availability of the infrastructures and the personnel to file the files. on the e-filing application.

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