Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bihar shows the light

Honorable Mr. Justice Ravi Dhavan, Chief Justice of Patna High Court’s initiative was using Video Conferencing for trials. On 16 August 2001, A total of 1077 under trials prisoners had volunteered to record their statement over Video link. Of those interviewed and had their statements recorded, 130 were released. In four days of VC, a total of 113 cases were disposed off and total of 135 prisoners received the benefit of pre-trial release.

The huge success of Patna Court Experiment resulted in another Video Conferencing at Hazipur, on 8 Jan 2002 and went for 9 days covering 597 statements of under trials.

The Video Conferencing service provided by National Informatics Centre (NIC) which is pioneer for IT solutions to the government.

As per NIC the Video Conference solution will

  • Will accelerate the case disposal rate of civil courts by releasing under trials
  • Reduce jail crowd
  • Saving expenses of transportation and minimize risk of fleeing

Technical Requirements as per NIC

· Both Jail and court at any district needs to be linked using 2 or more 64 kbps ISDN lines so that total carrying capacity is more than 128 kbps

· Tandberg 800 SetTop VC system

· 29” TV set at both locations

· Furnished room as Studio

The setup cost is 14 lakh rupees and all this can be dismantled and reused at some other district

In August 2005 the District Judge, Delhi took a decision to have interaction with Telgi who has been lodged in Pune Jail over Videoconferencing to ensure that no security lapse happens while transferring him from Pune to Delhi. The conference was done for the purpose of Judicial Remand Extension.

Now in 2006, it’s high time to legalize this facility across the country. With number of pending cases becoming like Leaning Tower of Pisa, its time we restore and prioritize these cases.
And who else to show the way, the State of Bihar, which always been looked upon with skeptism and helplessness of the Raj.