Let virtual courts stay: law panel- The Hindu -12-09-2020
“Functioning of the Virtual Courts/Courts Proceedings through Video-Conferencing”.- REPORT
The panel has argued that the transfer of certain categories of cases, like cases pertaining to traffic challans or other petty offences, from regular court establishments to virtual courts will reduce the pendency of cases.
Currently, there are 30 million pending cases.
The Committee recommended the Ministry of Law and Justice and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to address data privacy and data security concerns while developing a new platform for India’s judicial system.
It has recommended the continuation of virtual courts even in a post-COVID scenario.
However, it has suggested that infrastructure needs to be upgraded especially in district courts to implement this.
Software programs and applications are prone to hacking and manipulation.
Virtual court hearings, especially during peak hours when many people log into the video-conferencing system, is subject to frequent crashes of the system. This can lead to the entire proceedings being vitiated by one glitch.
There are also concerns that virtual courts will compromise the privacy of data as well as the confidentiality of discussions and court proceedings.
Currently, third-party software applications such as Vidyo, Cisco and Jitsi are being used in India for conducting hearings through video-conferencing.
Another concern is that almost 50% of lawyers, particularly in district courts, do not have any laptop or computer facility.