Videoconferencing was widely used by district courts, why can't SCs and HCs resume the full operation of the court?

NEW DELHI: Courts can reopen and resume operations amid Covid-19 blockade, and many of them made videoconferencing compatible many years ago, said Judge Madan Lokur, a former judge who, until last year, spearheaded computerization from courts across the country as a judge. in charge of Committee E of the apex court.

“Under the eCourts Project, all district courts supported video conferencing many years ago. Many district courts used the facilities for routine preventive detention and other prison related activities. The family courts used it for trials, even in cases where one of the parties was abroad and could not come to India for financial reasons, he told TOI.

It is not very difficult for the Supreme Court (SC) and the 25 Superior Courts in the country to start the entire court operation learning from the valuable experience of the district courts where videoconferencing has been used quite extensively but has not been Publicized this, Judge Lokur added.

The SC must strengthen the base for the average district court litigant if it wants to make a difference and must learn lessons from the use of technology by these courts, Judge Lokur said. Cosmetic methods and photographic techniques and photo shoots will attract attention for a few weeks and then disappear, he noted, adding that the solution lies with the district courts and the SC that acknowledges that before ad hoc experimentation.

In the current circumstances, SC can curb the increasing tenure of cases by maximizing the functioning of courts across India. Almost all of the 18,000 subordinate and district courts, HCs and SCs have been computerized and judges have connected to Data Grid with other facilities available, such as electronic case filing and videoconference examination of witnesses.

The former Secretary of Law, however, was cautious and said that the situation created by Covid-19 is unprecedented and must be handled with care. He emphasized the need to further strengthen the ability of our judges and advisers to bring all cases to the hearing through videoconference. Malhotra told TOI that due to technological flaws in some areas, litigants may not have full faith in the removal of cases via video conference.

This, by no means imaginative, means that the technology should not be used to eliminate urgent cases such as bail matters, fundamental rights cases, or other matters that the court, at the request of lawyers, believes should be urgently heard. the former law secretary said, noting that this can be reviewed after the closing period ends.

Ultimately, he said, the elimination of normal cases through videoconferencing by all courts will be a step in the right direction and will also help speedy resolution of cases and thus help reduce pendency. in the tribunals.