Free and Open Source Software at Allahabad High Court

I got a mail on BLUG list from Moinak Ghosh about Hon’ble Mr. Justice Yatindra Singh, Hon’ble Chairman, Computerization Committee, Allahabad High Court. And his talk at SUN Technology Conference. And the mail spoke about the knowledge of this extrodinary gentleman about FOSS and its implementation at Allahabad High Court. The mail also spoke about Allahabad High Court as the only court in world to offer its judgements by RSS feed. Next thing I did was to visit their site .

The front page is really very simple page. It has links on left. But the shocker comes on the right. You can see the RSS links on the rights. There are two RSS links one which gives ‘Judgement Headlines’ and the other one ‘Other Headlines’. As I digged the site I found more and more. Most of the documents for download are available in multiple formats. They are in PDF, DOC, HTML and Good god ODF. Wow HC bench giving documents in ODF (Open Document Format) shows they are way above others.
They have a well answered Technology-FAQ sections. Few of them are very interesting

Question: Why documents published on the web site are in the odt format?
Answer: The reason for keeping documents in the odt format are as follows:
1. Allahabad High Court has taken a policy decision to work in Open Source Software and use open standards;
2. The odt format is based on Open Document Format (ODF);
3. ODF is ,
* Based on open standards;
* Recommended by Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS); and
* Approved by International Standardisation Organisation (ISO).

Do we need a better answer than that? The whole FAQ is very interesting and it gives an idea why public sector should use FOSS and Open Standards.

Question:Why Linux, Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org Softwares are selected for use by the High Court?
Answer: We have chosen Linux, Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org softwares as they are Open Source softwares. Our Website is also best viewed in Firefox.
Apart from the above, Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org office suite are independent of Operating Systems and work on different operating system including Windows and Linux.

They have a downloadable PDF document ‘IT_-_Speedier_Justice.pdf’ available at FAQ section. Its text of talk delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh( Yes he blogs at A Judge’s World), Judge Allahabad High Court, Allahabadon 20.11.2004 in judicial workshop on ‘Cyber Laws, Cyber Forensics and E-Governancein Judiciary’ at National Judicial Academy Bhopal.
And quoting from it

Since delivering this talk, Allahabad High court website (www.allahabadhighcourt.in) became the first court in India to give RSS feed about its approved for reporting
judgements

I coudn’t stop blogging about this. All my appreciation goes to people at Allahabad High court for using FOSS. Thanks to Moinak for the mail.

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