Video Conferencing Facilities to Improve in India
I think it’s safe to say at this point that India may be one of conferencing’s biggest proponents. The country is constantly looking for new and inventive ways to implementing conferencing into its operations, whether in the courtroom, doctor’s office, classroom or beyond.
One of the biggest use cases for video conferencing in India is in the courtroom. As of December 31, 2014, there were 1387 functioning jails in India, which could house a total of 356,561 prisoners. However, at that time, there were actually 418,536 inmates in jails across the country. Since that time, those numbers have presumably gone up.
Unfortunately, a good majority of those inmates have a difficult time getting to their court hearings because of the lack of officers available to take them. Prisoners obviously can’t leave unescorted, but there just aren’t enough policemen available to bring them to hearings. As a result, hearings are often delays for months, even years, adding to the number of inmates.
As a staff reporter for The Hitavada writes, “The High Court was hearing a PIL filed by Dr Shoma Sen demanding immediate completion of district prison building at Gadchiroli and fast trial of tribals arrested and kept at Nagpur. Trials of tribals arrested from Naxal-infested Gadchiroli are languishing since enough security force is not available to transport them and high-security prison is under construction, the petitioner had claimed. Due to naxal movement, the prisoners are produced only on the orders of competent court and this often delays the trial for years, the PIL had claimed.”
This overpopulation of prisons and inability to produce inmates for trial is where video conferencing is supposed to come into play. Inmates can testify and speak to lawyers through video conferencing, which allows them to skip the trip to the courtroom altogether. The theory here is that more cases will be tried if prisoners don’t have to physically show up to the hearing.
Now, according to The Hitavada, the government has promised to not only implement many more video conferencing facilities, but to make sure that they’re all up to date and functional. Hopefully using this technology will help India straighten out its criminal justice system once and for all.