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COVID-19 lockdown: Courts across country face technology hurdle now 

Though the Supreme Court of India has started functioning smoothly via video conferencing, but the use of technology is still a huge challenge at the high courts and district court level.

Published: 15th April 2020 02:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th April 2020 09:11 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India (File photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: For advocate Rohan Sharma, seeking bail for his client to take care of his ageing parents was a tough task as he first had to first convince the registrar concerned for listing the case by explaining the urgency and secondly he had to smoothly conduct the hearing via video conferencing.

Though the Supreme Court of India has started functioning smoothly via video conferencing, but the use of technology is still a huge challenge at the high courts and district court level.

On Monday, the top court’s two different benches heard at least 50 plus cases via video conferencing but if one looks at the data available at trial court level, it is quite low and just 15-20 cases are being heard via the telephone.

An additional sessions judge posted at a Delhi court who did not want to be named said, “We are feeling handicapped by not utilizing technology which is available around us as the court infrastructure doesn’t support it. During a bail hearing on Monday, I used my own phone to hear the arguments via video call to the lawyer concerned and this is happening in most of the cases.”

Though the process of providing a videoconferencing facility through e-courts platform is underway, the lawyers can use Cisco Webex for the facility in the interim period.

“If the Advocates/Litigants/Police/Public Prosecutor are not equipped to conduct the hearing from their locations, the facility for video conferencing shall be made available in the Judge’s Conference Room and the Computer Branch shall facilitate such a hearing,” the official order passed by the District Judge stated.

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