Several issues in digitising consumer court judgements

MGP writes to consumer commissions to rectify the same 

Highlighting various problems regarding digitisation of consumer court judgements, the Mysore Grahaka Parishat (MGP) has written to the National Consumer Commission and the Karnataka State Consumer Commission to rectify the same.

Prominent among the problems highlighted by the MGP is the delay in uploading the judgements in various consumer courts of the State. The judgements issued by all district Consumer Forums, State Consumer Commissions and National Consumer Commissions should be uploaded to the website www.confonet.nic.in.

However, many consumer courts are not taking this procedure seriously and are not uploading their judgments promptly. “Out of the 30 district consumer fora in the State, only 17 are up to date, including the Mysore District Consumer Forum.

Even the Karnataka State Consumer Commission has not uploaded judgments for more than a year. Out of the 30 state commissions, listed on the confonet website, only 20 are up to date,” a release from the MGP said.

Format and language

While portable document format (pdf) is the general format used in uploading court judgements, there appears to be no policy on the format in which the judgement of consumer courts are available.

Some judgements are uploaded in plain text format, some in text converted to pdf formats, while some are scanned pdf formats. Moreover, there is also no uniformity in the language in which the judgements are uploaded.

“Some judgements are in English and some in other languages, which make searching consumer court judgements difficult and defeats the purpose of confonet,” MGP said.

Besides, scanned pdf files are very large in size. Irrespective of the document size, such files are not legible for a person who wants to go through them.

Errors

Some of the judgements uploaded to the website have been found to have critical typos, such as wrong case numbers, omission of names of the parties, name of the court where the judgements was made, etc.

In some cases, only parts of the judgement are uploaded. Such inadequacies raises questions about the credibility of the system, the release said.

“To make confonet really useful, the National Consumer Commission must issue strict orders to the state commissions and the district fora to promptly upload their judgments, typed accurately. To realise the foremost objective of confonet namely, to provide free-text search of the judgments at the national level, the judgments have to be in English text format,” MGP has demanded.

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