High Courts of Bombay & Madras Gear Up for E-filing of Petitions, Neutral Citation System
Moneylife Digital Team 31 December 2022
The high courts (HC) at Madras and Bombay are gearing up to make it easy for petitioners and the judiciary in 2023. While the Bombay HC is making it mandatory from 9th January to e-filing of petitions seeking reliefs under criminal jurisdiction and petitions under the arbitration act, the Madras HC has decided to have its own neutral citation system for all judgements from 1 January 2023.
The Bombay HC issued a notice to make e-filing of petitions seeking reliefs under criminal jurisdiction and petitions under the arbitration act as mandatory from 9 January 2023. E-filing of new cases in these classes would include all responses and replies, rejoinders, miscellaneous documents and all applications, the HC says in the notice.
Even the bench of justice Gautam Patel, in an order on Wednesday, issued a slew of directives on the administrative side on an experimental basis to reduce paper in-flow and streamline the process of listing cases before his bench, says a report from LiveLaw.in.
"According to the notice dated 28 December 2022, an automated system for listing will be implemented, doing away with any mentioning of matters unless there is extreme urgency (imposition of costs if urgency is not found). The daily board for every week will be issued the previous Friday or Saturday," the report says.
The notice issued by Bombay HC, further changed the system of seeking listing and orders based on precipices, a small note specifying the urgency. It says a request for any listing would now be through a Google form instead and the form would be checked twice daily and a hearing date would be given. 
Separately, in a circular issued on 30 December 2022, the Madras HC says that a unique neutral citation number will be auto-generated for every order or judgment that is uploaded on the website. This citation will be in the format of year/MHC/auto generated number.
According to LiveLaw, Delhi High Court and Kerala High Court have already introduced their own neutral citations.
"Pertinently, the Supreme Court's e-committee last month constituted a panel of three high court judges to prepare a framework for formulating neutral citations for citing decisions of the high courts as well as the apex court," the report says.
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