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Kerala Advocate Clerks Association Initiates Hunger Strike on Onam Against Mandatory E-Filing

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LI Network

Published on: 31 August 2023 at 10:45 IST

The Kerala Advocate Clerks’ Association (KACA) organized a one-day hunger strike outside the Kerala High Court on Thiruvonam day to protest against the complete transition to e-filing of legal cases and documents, effective from August 1, in all courts across the State.

Initially, the High Court had mandated electronic filing for all categories of cases, including criminal cases, except for final reports submitted by the police or other investigative agencies. However, the mandatory e-filing requirement was subsequently revoked for certain applications.

According to KACA, the method adopted by the High Court to implement the transition to electronic filing, without taking into account the recommendations put forth by the association, could potentially lead to the displacement of hundreds of clerks from their jobs.

KACA asserted that its suggestions to avert such a scenario were overlooked by the authorities.

KACA also made it clear that their objection lies not in the use of electronic filing itself, but in the manner in which the transition is being executed.

Demands presented by KACA are:

1. Permit the submission of handwritten pleadings in scanned PDF format and withdraw the e-filing mandate that prohibits the use of handwritten copies.

2. Exempt applications, copied applications, Batha Memo, and other documents, excluding the plaint or complaint, from the mandatory electronic filing requirement.

3. Implement e-filing gradually and establish an adequate number of E-Seva centers in all court complexes across the State.

4. Maintain the availability of both paper and electronic filing methods.