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Indian Court Causelists and Their Evolution

Maintaining a diary is very useful when it comes to organizing tasks and noting down reminders. Jotting down every task to be done and creating a to-do-list gives us a clear idea about the schedule and helps preparing for what is about to happen in future. Now a cause list is more like the diary/ an organizer. A cause list is like a diary for the court. It has all the cases to be heard by the court scheduled in order, along with all case details including the type of petition, the name of the parties and their advocates, the court number,etc. necessary for the courts to proceed with the litigation process in order prescribed.

Various types of causelists:

  • Daily list –  This list is created everyday. It contains information of cases pertaining to each courtroom, that is to be heard that very same day. The daily list for the next day is usually made available by 6PM and the list is generated 6 days a week, daily.
  • Weekly list – This list is a compilation of the entire week’s schedule of cases that is to be heard by the court in that week. It can be generated for any particular week.
  • Supplementary list – This list just covers all the cases that are left out by the daily list. Since there are a lot of categories to classify the cases into, there is a high chance of letting out a few of them. So the supplement list is used as a list to gather the missed out cases and bring them for hearing by the appropriate judges.

Objective:

Plenty of cases pile up before the courts for hearing everyday. When there is no proper order for them to be heard, there will be a lot of chaos within the court, which could lead to adverse conditions. The main objective of having a court causelist is to have a structured schedule of cases to be heard by the court. It also acts as a guide for the lawyers, parties to the case and others involved, to easily spot out their slot and reach the correct courtroom on time for the hearing.

Traditional Cause List:

Back in the days, cause lists were printed on paper and copies of it were provided to the lawyers. The lists were all compiled and would look more like a book than a mere list. It was a tedious process to skim through the entire document to find all the cases of the lawyers to be heard that particular day. It was both time and energy consuming. It was also a waste of resources as all the printed paper go waste once the hearings are over and a new list is printed everyday.

Contemporary Cause List:

As we move into the era of digitalising, the need for a paperless court was emerging slowly. The supreme Court sought out a new scheme for automated listing of cases online. The Indian Judiciary has made it easier for the users by uploading the causelist online to be accessed by anyone and everyone. The portal has a variety of searching options. One could search Judge wise, Lawyer wise, Case number wise or even Courtroom wise. It has made the lives of all junior and senior lawyers much easier and stress free by saving a lot of time that was previously used for finding out the courtroom number in which their cases were being heard. This scheme, initiated by Former Chief Justice of India J.S.Khehar, has made an effort to address a few of the long term redressals in the organizing and alloting of cases being heard by the courts. A few feature of the system are:

  • All miscellaneous cases will be made sure to be dated, either by the the court or by computer programmes.
  • The cases heard before the courts per day will be evenly distributed.
  • Missed out / urgent / fresh for admission cases will be listed in the supplementary list and made sure to be heard by the court.

Overall, the evolution of causelist from a booklet to being updated online has drastically and yet positively affected the mundane routine of the courts.

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