Virtual hearings: Govt procuring 1500 addl video conferencing licences for courts
New Delhi: As courts continue to hear cases virtually amid COVID-19, the government has initiated the process of procuring 1500 additional video conferencing licences at an approximate cost of Rs nine crore for providing the facility for high courts and district courts, a senior functionary said.
From the day the nationwide lockdown was imposed to check the spread of coronavirus till the end of September, high courts and district courts across India have heard over 26 lakh cases virtually, according to data collated by the Union Law Ministry.
Between March 24 and September 31, the 25 high courts of the country collectively heard 68,8318 cases via video conferencing.
The nearly 19,000 district courts heard 1933492 cases virtually in the period, according to the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry.
The total number of cases heard via video by both the high courts and the district courts comes to 2621810.
Now, the government has initiated the process of procuring 1500 additional video conferencing licences at an approximate cost of Rs nine crore for providing video conferencing facility for high courts and district courts, the senior functionary said.
Such licences are required for legal and extended use of the video conference facility software, the functionary pointed out.
During the recently-held Aatmanirbhar app challenge, a few video conference applications were shortlisted.
Once the apps are tested for use by a large group of say 150 people or more, and are successful, the government may switch over to indigenous technology for video conferencing, the official said adding the Department of Justice will be among the biggest beneficiaries.
Underlining that digital justice is cheaper and faster besides addressing locational and economic handicaps, recently the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel had pitched for continuation of virtual courts even after the COVID-19 pandemic gets over.