The chief components of justice are access to justice, affordability and a timely decision opines Praveen Dalal. However, due to defective justice enforcement policies of government around the world, not even a single component is achieved. As a result we have courts but not justice says Praveen Dalal.
Take an example of access to justice problem. If a person residing in a remote village of South India is required to come to North India for a court hearing that is a serious limitation as far as access to justice is concerned. There is no certainty as to the number of hearings and nature of hearings for a simple civil case. In many cases people travel from remotest parts of India only to go back due to adjournment and next date of hearing. This discourages people not only to approach courts but even justice is not delivered as witnesses and crucial evidences are lost till the matter reaches the satge of evidencing.
Take another example of access to justice problem. Jurisdictional issues of courts sometimes force people from differnt states to be part of dispute. First we have to decide which court would have jurisdiction to entertain the dispute. In many cases, two courts have simultaneous jurisdictions and cases are filed in both. Finally jurisdiction is assumed by one court but the time, money and resources spent on other court are wasted. Even the court that finally takes the jurisdiction has to wait for many years before it even starts the hearing.
Another example of access to justice problem is the complicated procedures and laws involved in dispute resolution. Even for approaching a court for simple civil case of recovery of money, cost has to be incurred and all formalities have to be complied with. People are afraid of formalities and procedural technicalities. So much so that people are not comfortable with even the most simple process of dispute resolution and this is one of the reasons why we have written this article.
Affordability of litigation and cases is another limitation that is failing the justice dispensation world wide. Court fees, lawyer’s fees and miscellaneous expenses are really discouraging. We cannot say these expenses are unreasonable or unrealistic but it is the duty of government to take care of interests of all stakeholders, including lawyers.
But the worst problem of justice delivery in India is the time taken by courts to finally dispose off a case. We cannot blame courts and judges for this as the judge population ratio of India is too poor. We cannot expect judges to handle such a mammoth scale explosion of cases. Still our judges are doing wonderful job, expecially at lower courts.
Merely discussing the shortcomings is of limited help as we need to invent innovative methods to solve the abovementioned problems of justice delivery in India. We at Resolve Without Litigation (RWL) have decided to consolidate our innovative techno legal projects so that justice delivery can be strengthened in India.
Although we have been managing many techno legal projects that are sgtrengthening Indian judicial and legal system yet this article is not covering all of them. In fact, this article is not even covering all the online dispute resolution (ODR) projects of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) and PTLB that are in force since 2004. This article is just covering the pro bono or free ODR initiative of RWL so that national and international stakeholders can know more about it.
We started an online portal few years back so that access to justice, affordability and a timely decision can be combined at a single place. To make it more effective we decided to keep it free of cost for its users for almost 90% services covered by it. For instance, if you have faced a credit/debit card fraud, you can get justice using the portal free of cost. Similarly, if you have faced a cyber crime, report at the portal and we would help you free of cost. Of course, where you wish us to send a legal notice or need other professional assistance, we would charge for the same. But a dominant majority of our services are free and we have mentioned “paid” in front of those services that are chargeable.
This online portal is known as Online Dispute Resolution And Cyber Arbitration. Let us take you through the same in a step by step guide.
(1) The Portal: The portal is a website based system where people can avail our services free of cost.
(2) Creating The Ticket: In order to avail the pro bono services of RWL all you have to do is to create a ticket. Just click at Open a New Ticket (Green Button) and you would be redirected to another screen.
(3) Mention The Problem: You need not to register at the pro bono portal of RWL and all you have to do is to fill few details like name, e-mail id, etc and describe your problem. To help you in this regard, there is a drop down menu at this stage that says “Select a Help Topic”. Once clicked you would have option to select your problem from a list of fields. If your problem is not covered by the list, select the “General” category and create the ticket.
Just remember that there is a deadling for Aadhaar relates issues if you wish to avail our free services for Aadhaar matters. Of course, professional or paid Aadhaar services can be availed off without any deadline.
(4) Uploading Documents, Involvement Of Aadhaar And CAPTCHA: There is a feature at the portal to upload documents regarding your problem. We have set a limit to the size of such doucments and if you need to load bigger sized documents, just create the ticket and mention this fact. We would revert back through an e-mail and you can attach your documents to such e-mail.
Once the document is uploaded or if there is no document, proceed further and mention if your case involve Aadhaar or not. We do not seek Aadhaar numbers at all so please do not mention the same. All you are required to mention is just “Yes or No”. This requirement has been introduced to distinguish between free and paid services for Aadhaar matters.
The final step of this stage is to fill the CAPTCHA and click at the “Create Ticket” button.
(5) Ticket Created: Once step 4 is complete the ticket would be created and would be registered with us.
(6) Notification To Administrator: The moment a ticket is created, the Administrator is notified in real time.
This entire process involves 2-5 minutes time and can be done by any person with basic typing and English reading skills. But the moment a ticket is created, the objectives of access to justice, affordability and a timely decision are achieved without the person even leaving his home. This online portal can be used from any part of the world and by both national and international stakeholders.
In case of any doubt or if you need any clarifications, we are available through this online portal, e-mails and Twitter accounts. We hope stakeholders would find this pro bono initiative of RWL useful.