Continue virtual courts in post-COVID period as digital justice is faster, cheaper: Parliamentary panel

This is the first report to be presented by any Parliamentary Panel on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published: 11th September 2020 12:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2020 10:15 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Stressing on promoting transparency and openness in the legal proceedings, a parliamentary panel on the functioning of virtual courts on Friday in its report recommended that live-streaming of court proceedings in cases of national importance and constitutional matters is the need of the hour.

The report has recommended continuation of virtual courts in certain categories of cases like appeals and final hearings with the consent of the parties involved even after the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it will pave the way for cheaper and faster means of delivery of justice as a court is more a service than a place.

The 103rd report stated that live-streaming will help reinforcing public faith in the judicial system, as has been observed by the Supreme Court itself in many of its judgments.

The report was submitted to Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu by chairman of the parliamentary pane, BJP MP Bhupender Yadav.

The top court had resorted to virtual hearings on March 23, a day before the lockdown was imposed by the government.

On April 6, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde issued orders under Article 142 to allow all courts to switch to the virtual mode, giving legal sanctity to digital courts.

It has suggested that permanent virtual proceedings for appellate tribunals such as Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal, Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, etc. should be held.

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