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Video Conferencing Enables Witnesses to Testify in Court

May 03, 2017

There’s a first time for everything, and it’s always a good sign when firsts are used to serve justice. Video conferencing was just used in India for the first time during a Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) case, and the results are promising.

The MCOCA was enacted in 1999 to combat organized crime and terrorism in the Maharashtra state in India. In this case, it applied to a case of gang rape that occurred in 2015 in the area. Although the law has great intentions, it can sometimes be difficult to gather witnesses at a specified court time because the country is so large. To get to a hearing, some people have to travel far distances, making it difficult to serve justice in a timely manner.

For this particular case, video conferencing was used because two key witnesses would have had a difficult time getting to the hearing. However, thanks to conferencing technology, they were both able to appear. The chief of police, Deepak Pandey, who approved the MCOCA charge back in 2015, was one of the officers who testified before the court via videoconference. The other officer was former chief of police SP Yadav, who had approved the charge sheet which was filed in the court.

Without the use of video conferencing, they both would have missed the hearing. Pandey currently works at Maharashtra State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation Ltd., and Yadav is director general of police, legal and technical in Mumbai.

Based on the success of the hearing, video conferencing could be a game changer in the courtroom. There were little to no technical difficulties during the hearing, making video conferencing a legitimate form of communication for witnesses in the courtroom. Yadav gave the experience a rave review, saying, “This type of cost-effective and fast technologies should be encouraged for speedy justice.”

Unfortunately, crime is always going to exist. The MCOCA is meant to improve conditions for everyone, and now video conferencing can be used to reinforce the law and serve justice to those criminals quickly. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle