Video Conferencing Speeds Up Hearings in India
Video conferencing is proving to be an effective tool for education, health, and increasingly in the judicial system. Last week, the Jammu Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court heard eleven cases in front of the Srinagar Wing of the High Court thanks to video conferencing.
The way this particular judicial system operates is as so: from May to October, the Chief Justice and Administrative Wing of High Court move to Srinagar. As for November through end of April, it is operating in Jammu. Yet, court is in session for both areas year round, which is why implementing video conferencing technology seemed to be the most logical solution.
Chief Justice BD Ahmed noted that using this technology will help speed up execution of justice while allowing lawyers to complete cases without having to travel or relocate. He also added that cases from either Jammu or Srinagar can be heard at any time, regardless of where the court is operating.
Justice Ahmed is a veteran in the judicial system, taking the role of Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court April 1, 2017. Before that, he served as a Judge in the Delhi High Court, and Chairman of the Computer Committee. He has always been a proponent of meshing technology with the law, establishing such concepts as:
- E-Cause list
- E-Court Fee
- SMS/E-mail alert facility
- Introduction of ‘Case History’ link on official Delhi High Court website
- Recording evidence via video conferencing
- Digitization and weeding of records
Justice Ahmed has the additional knowledge of several computer programming languages and has written two standalone accounting software packages for lawyers. The idea that cases can be heard, independent of geography, will keep the judicial system moving and prevent unnecessary legal logjams.
In January, the Indian government started doing monthly video conferences with high court registrars in order to examine human resource and infrastructure gaps. Currently, this may be somewhat of solution to India’s large judge vacancy issue. It is also being implemented for safety measures between courts and prisoners.
Edited by Erik Linask