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This article is written by Chandrasmita Priyadarshini, from KIIT School Of Law, Bhubaneshwar. This article covers the role of district courts in the judiciary and also the importance of district court performance monitoring tools.


An effective justice system is a fundamental right of citizens, also an effective judiciary that interprets and applies the law fairly, impartially and without unjustified delay is fundamental to citizens’ rights and for a well-functioning economy. The judiciary plays a very pivotal role in shaping the lives of each and every individual. The structure on which Indian courts function is ordinarily based on the concepts of unheeded management and efficient administration. A well functioning judicial system lifts economic development. “

Quality, independence and efficiency are the key components for an effective judicial system, as a fundamental right of citizens as set down in the Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In the determination of civil rights and duties or any criminal charge against them, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable period by an independent and impartial court of law. 

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So in order to manage the judicial system, then it must be evaluated and eventually what’s evaluated will be achieved. It has been seen across jurisdictions that the usage of observation and management skills would help to decrease the postponement rates at various hierarchy of courts. Speedy trial is a part of ‘Right to life and liberty’ guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Hence, delay in disposal of cases might come in the way of the fulfillment of fundamental rights. There have been countless attempts by the government and the judiciary to deal with these challenges in the system of the judiciary. Hence, the subordinate courts and particularly the District court judges need to ensure professional management of their courts.”

An overview of the district court performance monitoring tool

The Quality of Public Administration “Toolbox” is developed for the European Commission’s Inter-service group on Public Administration Quality and Innovation. “Court management” is all inclusive of the entire set of actions that a court takes to check on the performance, functioning of a case from the start till its disposal. 

Court management brings about a performance monitoring tool which is the tool to follow the institutional mission of resolving disputes with due process and in due time. 

It keeps an eye on the performance monitoring & reporting and performance evaluation in the functioning of district courts. In order to strengthen the quality of the judiciary in our country this tool is very obligatory as the district court is the highest court in the district. These subordinate courts help in the smooth and uniform operation of the judiciary throughout the country. In order to strengthen this tool, it is necessary to know its functioning, its monitoring and its evaluation. Subsequently followed”by reference by the court’s representatives. 

So, the management of performances in real-time rely on ready access to undeviating and reliable information. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are transforming data collection, interrogation and dissemination. Instead of the old paper-based systems that were completed by hand and posted to a central location for manual entry into a database, ICT allows each court to submit information directly and automatically, hence widely open to statistical quality control. Data processing can be highly dynamic and flexible online, well-mined and manipulated to present analytical reports on demand.”

Procedure for automatic account creation for entering data related to district court’s performance monitoring tool

  1. Account for all districts would be created automatically by the system (in a deactivated state).
  2. A link for each district would be created and sent to their respective court under the civil procedure code. This link is for account activation. A link so created would be used for one time. The link would be executed by the respective district courts only.
  3. Upon clicking the link, the district users will be prompted for: Name, Mobile Number and Email. Upon submitting their details, the password would be sent via SMS and E-mail.
  4. Login Id would be a mobile number or email id as entered above (interchangeably).”

The indispensable need for court management techniques in the Indian legal system

Court performance measurement and management is the field of study and the procedures for monitoring, analyzing, and using organizational performance data on a day to day basis, in order to improve the efficiency or the effectiveness, along with transparency and accountability in between the public for their trust and confidence in the courts and the justice system. These techniques are very necessary in forming a powerful legal system. 

Adopting the different techniques of court management can assist the speeding up of the justice conveyance system. Realizing the imperfections of the present justice conveyance system, to reduce the backlog of cases and due to further modernization of the judicial system, the National Court Management System (NCMS)  proposal was floated that targeted to enhance the quality, sensibility and timeliness of the Court. Court Management in India has been enforced through establishment of an e-court system and the appointment of professional court managers. Professionals who are qualified to be appointed to assist in performance of court administration which in turn enhances the efficiency of the District judicial system should be approached. These are to be carried by the court managers. 

The Judge, who is the leader of their tribunal and responsible for the Judicial system, has to execute both missions along with their current court work. The Judge is accountable for implementing the policy and legal action plan. The court managers who act as an activator, who possess a master’s degree in business administration are required to assist the court to manage it as per the mission and its plans. 

Hence, the duty of the court manager is just like a catalyst. In a district place there is a Principal district judge, administrative judge and at Taluka place there are principal judges for the administrative works. They also command over their independent courts. They discharge their work to manage the court and their administrative work as per the curriculum. Manuals are to be provided by the superior courts. Both missions say that the judge must do justice to all regardless of status. They have to reduce the backlog of cases. Without unjustified regard to the procedural technicalities, they have to administer justice.

Determining the role of district courts in the Indian judiciary

The district courts are the integral subordinate courts that function under the High courts.  This includes both civil and criminal courts. The district judge deals with civil cases whereas the sessions court deals with criminal cases. These judges also hear appeals against lower courts that administer justice at the district level. 

They also can grant capital punishments subject to the approval of high courts. The judges of District courts are appointed by the Governor of the concerned state in consultation with the High court. This was done as the district judiciary was approved by the members of the Constituent Assembly of India and some members even suggested amendments to reinforce this separation of power at the most fundamental level. This is an effective step in protecting the civil liberties of the people of this country.

This ensured the segregation of judiciary from executive which made it possible for the judges at the most basic level to take on their independent view, and the executive which opened new possibilities of judicial review of executive power at that level. District and Sessions Judge is the primary court of original civil jurisdiction besides the High Court of the State and which derives its jurisdiction in civil matters mainly from the code of civil procedure. The Constitution of India, therefore, has put this crucial obligation on Indian magistrature to ensure rule of law in the administration of justice at district level.

Is Uttarakhand High Court setting a good example?

The Uttarakhand High Court, under the protection of Chief Justice Raghuvendra Singh Chauhan, has launched a software application called the District Court Performance Monitoring Tool (DCPMT) for observance of the performance of judicial officers in Uttarakhand.

The in-house software of the e-networking aims to provide an instrument to the Hon’ble Judges of the High Court of Uttarakhand to monitor the performance of the Judicial Officers of the State on five parameters of the Court work on a daily and monthly basis. The Tool will also enable the High Court to monitor the advancement of all the subordinate courts in terms of disposal of every case including special category cases like old cases, cases related to women, children, senior citizens etc.

If the district courts are kept in check then the lower courts will follow in the well disposal of cases and reduce pendency of cases, as they are the courts of highest values in the districts. The Software Tool will also provide the Judicial Officers of the State a platform to monitor their own actions so as to inspire them to do better every day and to achieve a desirable benchmark of performance as per the anticipation of the High Court


The proactive participation in court management by a performance monitoring tool may aid the development of the management system of the judiciary and methods to monitor the implementation of the smooth functioning of the judicial system.  Cybernation or computerisation and court management are not to substitute the mind of the judge. But with the help of the computer and court manager, it becomes effortless to analyze data, monitor the progress, keep track of the disposal of cases, the time period is taken for each case and improve the court management. If we see tribunals as an organization then any system of organization works with judges, court clerks, staff, managers, etc. This is where a district judge plays a very important role with the uninterrupted support from the intermediaries in the courts. 

The main purpose of introducing this performance monitoring tool at the district level is to assure the improvement of efficiency at the subordinate courts. As these courts lay a strong foundation of the judicial system.  But this need not mean that this monitoring tool will be overpowering, the judges have an autarkic functioning to carry out the required decisions which require a judicial mind that is obligatory for application. This tool is ust for capturing daily data and arranging it in the correct order. 


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