All High Court websites will now feature captchas that are accessible to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), revealed by the Ministry of Law and Justice on Sunday, to make the Indian court system’s digital infrastructure more accessible.
The Chairperson of the e-Committee, Dr Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, sent a letter to all High Court Chief Justices in December 2020, urging them to make their digital infrastructure accessible to persons with disabilities in accordance with the constitutional and statutory entitlements of the disabled and containing a series of structural interventions for all High Courts.
The tool was launched on the initiative of the Supreme Court of India’s e-Committee.
These captchas are used to gain access to various important features of a court website, including judgments/orders, cause lists, and checking case status.
“The task of making the digital infrastructure of the Indian judicial system more accessible to persons with disabilities has been a major focus of the e-committee of Supreme Court. The e- Committee’s efforts toward this goal have delivered a significant milestone in that all High Court websites now include captchas that are accessible to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) “, according to the press release.
- In Phase 1 of this initiative, the e-Committee developed an action plan to guarantee that the digital interface of all High Court websites is accessible.
- The e-Committee held a series of meetings for all High Courts’ central project coordinators and technical teams to raise awareness and provide training on assuring accessibility of all High Courts’ websites’ digital interfaces and generating accessible PDFs.
- The e-Committee is also working on a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for producing accessible court papers, which will serve as a user guide for the committee’s stakeholders. Watermarks, manually inserting material, incorrect stamp placement, and inaccessible file pagination will indeed be addressed.
- Another noteworthy step made by the e-Committee in partnership with NIC is the creation of an accessible judgement search engine ( https://judgments.ecourts.gov.in ). All High Court judgments and final rulings are available on the web. A free-text search engine is used by the portal. In addition, the portal allows users to use an audio captcha in addition to a written captcha. It also makes it easier for the visually impaired to navigate the website by using accessible combo boxes.
- Lawyers are also made aware of the importance of using accessible filing methods through the e-training Committee’s programmes.