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Video Conferencing in Jails Fails to Click

It’s three years since the video conferencing system between district jails and courts have been installed in five districts, but it is yet to be used.

Published: 19th May 2014 09:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2014 09:03 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI: It’s three years since the video conferencing system between district jails and courts have been installed in five districts, but it is yet to be used.

  Officials with the Prison Department said that it could not be used till date owing to software-related issues. The government plans to rectify them and update the software.

They said the video conferencing system was introduced in 2011 to speed up legal procedures of jail inmates. The department has spent `3.64 crore for installing the system in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kollam and Thrissur district jails. The system at Ernakulam Sub-Jail was successfully used for the trial of NIA cases when terror convicts were lodged there.

The Finance Commission has allocated `13.6 crore for setting up such a facility in all district jails.

  The system would have benefited the jail inmates, the Prison Department and the Police, facing a dearth of staff. Supply of mobile phones and contraband when inmates are taken to the court could be curbed. So could jail escape.

 “There are instances when inmates cannot be taken to court due to staff shortage and they have to wait till the next posting. In such situations, video conferencing comes in handy,” said officials. However, due to software issues, the system is slow and Judges and Magistrates do not opt for it.

Even courts don’t post cases that could be heard through it.

 T P Senkumar, DGP and Director-General of Prisons and Correctional Services, said that rectification work and software upgradation of the system were going on. “Once the issues with the software are rectified, the system will be made use of. We are also planning to introduce the system in all district jails,” he said.



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