Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government is putting in place an Online Legal Case Monitoring System (OLCMS) to effectively deal with the huge number of cases piled up in various courts.
Using the AP High Court’s Application Protocol Interface (API), the new online system will help various government departments to promptly respond to different petitions as and when they come up. A dashboard is also being created to monitor the cases on a real-time basis, official sources told PTI. Simultaneously, offices of all government pleaders will be automated and cases properly indexed to facilitate ease of monitoring and response.
The AP government is fighting a whopping 1.94 lakh cases in the High Court and the Supreme Court.
Every day, on an average, 450 new (writ) petitions, running into at least 40,000 pages, are being filed against the government. There are at least 8,000 contempt of court cases pending against government authorities.
All this is proving to be a herculean task for the administration to overcome, according to officials. State Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das recently conducted a brainstorming session with Advocate General Sriram Subramaniam, law secretary and other top bureaucrats to find a way to appropriately deal with the mounting litigation.
The OLCMS is the outcome of the Chief Secretary’s meeting, officials said. Senior IAS officer Babu Ahamed has been appointed as the nodal officer at the state government level to oversee the entire process. Each department will henceforth appoint a nodal officer to exclusively monitor all pending court cases pertaining to the respective departments.
Alerts will be sent out to the departments on the court cases due for hearing, counter-affidavits to be filed, contempt cases and such matters, the sources said.
The neighbouring Telangana government is currently implementing a similar system in five departments like Municipal Administration, Revenue and Finance, where the caseload is high. “We will replicate the Telangana model and extend it to all the departments. We have already test-checked the API and will roll out the OLCMS in the next few days,” a top official said.
Two days ago, the Chief Secretary issued a note to all Special Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries of all government departments, directing them to convene a monthly meeting with their respective heads of departments on-court matters. He asked them to communicate the minutes of the meeting to the Chief Secretary’s office immediately thereafter.
“The government has taken the court cases issue very seriously. Apart from hampering the regular administration, the litigation is many a time causing embarrassment to the government as well as individual bureaucrats. The onus is on us to avoid this through swift action,” a Special Chief Secretary observed.
(With agency inputs)