Videoconferencing is a boon for courts in this pandemic: Shivanshu Goswami

Video conferencing centres in every locality, lawyers and litigants can attend hearings from any location

The entire globe is currently going through a very challenging phase because of the novel coronavirus. It has impacted the adjudicating authorities as well due to which the functioning of the judiciary got changed. Judiciary which plays a significant role in applying laws saw its functioning getting slowed down ever since COVID-19 started spreading rapidly in India. In this tough time, Indian judiciary passed an important order on using video-conferencing technology to enable courts to function amidst the lockdown. The E-courts mechanism is practised where filing process is done electronically, and appearances are made through video conferencing. It seems that even after the pandemic gets over, the courts might implement video technology during hearings.

Looking at the present scenario, there are a huge number of pending cases in district and subordinate courts. With the implementation of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in courts, the hearings will happen via E-courts. Advocate Shivanshu Goswami who practices law in the High Court and Sessions Court expressed his views about the courts implementing the video conferencing technology. This new and innovative methods, however, has its own merits and demerits. Shivanshu believes that E-courts will help in improving efficiency and the number of hearings will speed up with the help of video conferencing technology. He further stated that lawyers with personal commitments will have a good opportunity to continue practice while being at home.

With video conferencing centres set up in every locality, lawyers and litigants with uninterrupted internet could attend hearings from any location. With COVID-19 pandemic giving an opportunity to the E-courtroom, Goswami also explained some of the demerits of using video conferencing technology. The first criticism according to him is that it might have an absence of coordination among different offices, advocates and the prosecutors. The second disadvantage pointed out by Goswami is that the web is not accessible to every place in India. He believes that many talukas and towns might face internet constraints which would be a huge hurdle in this case. Throwing light on the most important threat of E-courtrooms, he said, “Many programmers and hackers might take advantage and hack E-courts. There should be proper cybersecurity to stay away from such threats.”

Understanding the crisis, the Indian judicial system must think about the long run with regards to using video technology during hearings. Advocate Shivanshu Goswami gave a fair opinion by stating a few advantages and disadvantages of E-courtrooms. It should not just be implemented to increase the efficiency of hearings but should also serve justice. Shivanshu is a young lawyer who mainly practices Criminal Law and also represents public and private corporations and he is also the assistant director at a think tank named India Think Council.

No Deccan Chronicle journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.

( Source : Agencies )
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