KASARGOD: Joby, accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl, did not leave the district jail in Kanhangad for his hearing in the district court in Kasargod, nearly 30 km away. Principal district judge T S P Moosath conducted the hearing via video conferencing on Monday, a first in Kerala.
The video conferencing facility was implemented in the district court complex and district jail by the National Informatics Centre, as part of a programme to connect all prisons in the state to courts of respective districts via the digital facility. In the first phase, six districts in the state would have video conferencing facility, said officials. After Kasargod, the facility would be introduced in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode districts, they said.A prison officer said Kasargod would be fully covered once the facility was introduced in Hosdurg court complex. Apart from the district jail in Kanhangad, the district has a sub-jail in Kasargod and an open jail in Cheemeni. With video conferencing facility, accused in remand could participate in hearing from the confines of jail, Moosath said.
“First it will save the time in bringing the accused from the jail to the court. Second, the staff-crunched police will not have to spare officers for escorting accused to court,” he said.The police force is considerbly stretched when personnel are deputed on Sabarimala duty.