E-Courts dataset (2010-2018)
Uploaded: 1 month ago; Last updated: 1 month ago ; Date of Publication: 2-February-2021
2010 - 2018
We obtained case records from the Indian e-Courts platform - a public system put in place by the Indian government in 2013. The publicly available information includes the filing, registration, hearing, and decision dates for each case, as well as petitioner and respondent names, the position of the presiding judge, the acts and sections under which the case was filed, and the final decision or disposition. The database covers India's lower judiciary -- all courts including and under the jurisdiction of District and Sessions courts. We also obtained data on judges pertaining to all courts in the Indian lower judiciary from the e-Courts platform. The data for each judge includes the judge's name, their position or designation, and the start and end date of the judge's appointment to each court. We joined the case-level data with the judge-level data based on the judge's designation and the initial case filing date. However, this case-judge matching process was only conducted for criminal cases and has a match rate between 50% and 75% depending on the jurisdiction.
We study judicial in-group bias in Indian criminal courts, collecting data on over 80 million legal case records from 2010–2018. We exploit quasi-random assignment of judges and changes in judge cohorts to examine whether defendant outcomes are affected by being assigned to a judge with a similar religious or gender identity. We estimate tight zero effects of in-group bias. The upper end of our 95% confidence interval rejects effect sizes that are one-fifth of those in most of the prior literature.