Bombay High Court Demands Video Conferencing Upkeep
India has whole-heartedly jumped on the video conferencing bandwagon over the past few months. From tele-law initiatives in small Indian villages to prison inmates receiving healthcare advice in Taloja Jail, the country is serious about implementing video conferencing technologies everywhere.
In December 2016, the Bombay High Court in India even went so far as to direct the home department to ensure that all courts in the country have video conferencing facilities in place by March 2017. In February of this year, the time given to the government was extended until October. Now, the High Court is demanding a status update on the implementation of these video conferencing systems.
According to The Indian Express, the court is so adamant about putting these conferencing tools in place because the country is severely lacking in police staff. With such a limited police staff, it’s difficult for inmates to be escorted to their court hearings. “In Mumbai especially, because of lack of availability of guards, prisoners can’t be produced in courts. Some of them languish in jails without framing of charges due to this,” said Justice Sadhana Jadhav.
The High Court isn’t going to be satisfied with just video conferencing implementation, though. It is also requiring that all technologies be kept up to date and functional. “It is not sufficient to just install video-conferencing facilities, but they have to be maintained also. If the installed system is not working due to lack of maintenance then what is the point of the facility,” said Justice R M Savant.
Apparently, according to The Indian Express, only 63 of the current 583 video conferencing facilities across India are actually functional. Putting these conferencing tools in place is a great idea, but there’s absolutely no point in doing so if they don’t actually work. Neglecting to take care of these technologies is a waste of money and resources. Video conferencing has the potential to transform the justice system in India, but only if it’s used properly.