Par panel for persevering with with digital courts post-COVID-19

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11

 Even as Bar our bodies construct up strain on judicial administration for resumption of bodily court docket hearings, a parliamentary standing committee has really helpful continuation of digital courts even in post-COVID19 interval and favoured dwell streaming of court docket proceedings to advertise transparency.

“The Committee fully understands that virtual courts have their own shortcomings, however they constitute an advancement over the existing system, and therefore, on the overall, they are worth embracing,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice mentioned in its 103rd report on the functioning of digital court docket proceedings via video conferencing.

“The idea of digital courts has gained immense floor throughout COVID-19 Pandemic occasions. It is and can stay the brand new actuality and the brand new regular…The Committee believes that this transfer will unlock the Courts and in addition mitigate the inconvenience of attending Courts as long-distance travels might be distributed with and proceedings turn out to be cheaper as effectively,” the panel mentioned.

Headed by Rajya Sabha BJP MP Bhupender Yadav, the report mentioned digital courts will “strike a balance between these two extremes and extend expeditious justice to the litigant public without compromising quality.”

However, the panel expressed unhappiness over the actual fact “that e-Courts Integrated Mission mode project is progressing at a tortoise’s pace”. 

Emphasising the necessity to increase infrastructure, it mentioned “the benefits of Virtual Courts will percolate down only when all court complexes are fully ICT enabled.”

Noting that court docket proceedings had been recorded in some kind or the opposite world over, the report mentioned live-streaming of sure proceedings will promote transparency.

“The apex court docket has again and again emphasised the importance of dwell streaming of court docket proceedings in selling openness and transparency, which in flip reinforce public religion within the judicial system. The committee agrees with the statement made by the apex court docket that dwell streaming court docket proceedings, particularly instances of constitutional and nationwide significance having an affect on the general public at massive or a bit of the general public will promote transparency and openness,” the report acknowledged.

It mentioned the judiciary can also contemplate broadcasting digital hearings of sure specified classes of instances to additional the precept of open justice and open court docket.

It mentioned, “To continue with the functioning of virtual courts in all the courts even during non-pandemic time, the committee feels that the present system should be allowed to continue on an experimental basis with the consent of all parties for certain categories of cases like appeals, etc, and final hearings where physical presence of the parties/counsels is not required and online virtual hearing alone is sufficient…”

“This will also reduce the crowd in the court and cut down other litigation costs and overheads,” it added.

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