KOCHI: The long-awaited video conferencing system, connecting jails with Sessions courts and Magistrate courts in Kochi, will start functioning from Monday, reports said on Saturday.
The system will enable judges at various criminal courts to directly examine the accused under custody.
According to sources, the decision to start video conferencing was taken in a joint meeting held by the jail authorities, judges and magistrates at Ernakulam district court last week.
“Around 20 courts in the city will start using the system. The required equipment have been installed at Ernakulam district jail and the sub jails. A room has been set up at the District court complex near Kanayannur taluk office from where judges and magistrates can examine the accused,” an official said.
The system had been installed three years ago. But it was not used as judges preferred to examine the accused in person at courts.
“A major advantage would be to reduce the number of policemen deployed for transporting the accused persons to the court
each day. In case of a shortage of policemen, the accused might not be taken to courts, and often the courts will have to remand them again.
“More than 50 persons are taken to various courts daily, and more than 30 policemen are deployed for it. Through video conferencing, the pre-trial phase of a case can be completed as well as arranging the facilities for conducting the trial,” the official said. Video conferencing was first used in the trials of Kashmir recruitment cases.
The accused persons, who were jailed in other states, were examined by the NIA court judges through this system.
Even though central jails and some of the district jails already have the system, they will have to yet start using them, said the official.