NEW DELHI: At least 150 files have gone missing from the High Courts of the country in the last 10 years, according to information from the law ministry.
Worse, sources suspect the actual number may be much higher as the government data does not include statistics of the Madras, Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh High Courts. The Madras High Court alone has some 100 missing case files, the sources said.
READ STORY HERE | Kerala High Court has a history of crucial files going missing
The good news is that the Supreme Court and 17 other High Courts have no such cases.
The Calcutta High Court is at the top of the list with 106 missing files, as per the data shared by Union Minister of State for Law and Justice PP Chaudhary in the Upper House of Parliament on Friday.
The Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh High Courts have 31 and 12 missing files, respectively.
The law ministry came out with the information on missing case documents after assessing records of 20 of the total 24 high courts in the country.
“The Calcutta High Court is taking steps to digitalise case records so that no case files are lost in the future. Similar steps are being taken by the Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh High Courts,” Chaudhary said, adding that the Rajasthan High Court has even passed standing orders to prevent such losses. The minister also informed Parliament that the ministry has initiated digitising all case filesfor their proper and safe preservation to avoid losses of case files and important documents.
“Digitisation of case records of High Courts across the country has been initiated and is at varying levels of implementation in different High Courts,” Chaudhary said. “The process of digitisation of case records in the Supreme Court is in progress, where 5,65,522 case files of disposed matters and 41,397 case files of live matters have been scanned till date.”