[Intern Post] Social Distancing is Leading Towards Much-needed Judicial Reforms by Nimish Goel

A lockdown cannot result in locking down courts altogether. The only method available for holding court hearings is through video conferencing.
  • Ø Coronavirus—with its official nomenclature of Covid-19 as stated by WHO has wreaked havoc.
  • Ø A virus, which started three to four months ago has already engulfed almost all nations with alarming speed.
  • Ø It has also been recognized that technology can play a significant role in bringing judicial reforms.
  • Ø Though people are in isolation and confined to their own homes, there is an attempt to bring back economic activities to normal by adopting alternate means through the use of technology.
  • Ø In the context of the Indian legal system justice delivery is also an essential service.
  • Ø The only possible method available for holding court hearings is through video conferencing.
  • Ø The Supreme Court has recognized the use of technology for hearing of urgent matters.
  • Ø Steps have been taken towards court automation in the form of e-filing, e-payment, payment of court fee, etc. and even setting up of court rooms which are e-enabled with the aid of audio and video conferencing facilities.
  • Ø Delhi High Court took the first initiative in establishing e-rooms by making certain court rooms paperless.
  • Ø Though video conferencing facilities have been made use of for quite some time now for doing remand cases by the magistrates where the accused persons are not physically brought to the court but where the hearing takes place with the accused persons remaining in jail itself.
  • Ø Positive side of accelerating the process of e-technology is that it is not going to be a short-term measure which would be used during the period of isolation but it can be adopted in future too.
  • Ø It has the potential of becoming a fixture in the judicial system and is going to bring a paradigm shift in the manner in which hearings are conducted.

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