The idea of the Rule of Law Project stems from a need for data-driven analysis and accountability in the legal space. Cases that run on for years are a given in the Indian legal system. It is a complex problem with multiple dimensions, and the project’s data-driven perspective addresses many of these dimensions. Through a data-based understanding of the processes of the Indian judicial system, the project is building the basis for feasible and long-lasting solutions for timely disposal of cases. The ultimate goal is to help reduce pendency to a level that will be considered acceptable by the most important constituent of the litigation process: the litigant.
The Rule of Law Project began in September 2014. We began collecting primary data from the publicly available daily cause lists of six High Courts – Karnataka, Hyderabad, Delhi, Madras, Gujarat, and Orissa – in January 2015. In May 2015, we began collecting information from eCourts.gov.in on cases pending in all the courts in two randomly chosen districts in every state.
We are collaborating with the Centre for Constitutional Law, Policy and Governance (CLPG), National Law University, Delhi to analyse data from the database as well as other publicly available data on the Indian judiciary.
We have created a web portal in which all the information from the High Courts and district courts is available in one analysable platform. Users are free to register on this portal, and the data is available for public use. DAKSH has created report-making mechanisms to enable close analysis of this data, as well as content and tools that aim to ensure better understanding and usage of data. In addition, indicative dashboards and analytics from the data collected are on display on the portal. We are also tying in other data to the portal, such as details from the 2011 census, so as to enable more robust analysis.