eCourts in India – PeopleLink powers the largest eCourt & Jail Connectivity, connecting prisoners, lawyers, judiciary & petitioners virtually together from anywhere.
ecourt is a concept which aims to bring together the litigant, lawyer, Judge together for discussion and hearing, without the need to physically visit the Court house, but instead into a virtual court, via video conferencing. The concept enables efficient utilization of court resources and provide litigants with effective means to resolve disputes. Virtual ecourt is administered by a Judge over a video conference session, and evidence is presented via digital tools like Document Visualizer.
Justice delayed can be, at times, Justice Denied. Especially during Covid19 times, when majority of the travel was banned and institutions closed for safety, use of ecourts has become even more essential in delivering speedy and timely justice. Thanks to the technologically advanced options now available, like PeopleLink Video Conferencing, which make video meetings easy and seamless, even at low bandwidth, virtual ecourts are now a reality. A large number of senior advocates, lawyers and the Police personnel have quickly adapted to this new normal. In fact, they can now argue, right from their home offices.
Benefits of eCourts or Virtual Courtrooms powered by PeopleLink Video Conference Solution
SAFETY – Safety of Prisoner, Witness , Police personnel and Judge– The Security risk and escape of prisoner while in transit can be prevented. Similarly virtual ecourt hearing provides a much better safety to witness as well as Judge when a complex hearing is being undertaken.
EASY TO USE – The ecourt solution by PeopleLink can be connected to over any mobile device as well, and is extremely easy to use even for users who are new to technology. Court systems have found PeopleLink’s Ease of Use and Security features to be extremely helpful for remote proceedings.
MULTIPLE HEARINGS – The same prisoner having multiple cases can be produced before the judge through video conferencing system before different courts in a single day itself.
ATTEND HEARING FROM ANYWHERE – ecourt sessions allow witness, accused, lawyers and Judges to attend the hearings from their convenient location, without the need for travelling to the specified court premises.
EASE OF BURDEN ON POLICE FORCE – The prisoner can be produced before various courts even if the police escort is not available, especially during Hartal, Lock down, Environmental emergencies and days having no transportation facility.
REDUCED RISKS – Dangerous prisoners such as Terrorists, Maoists, rebellion groups can be produced before the courts, thereby reducing the security risk and hardship of physical production before the court.
HEALTH & SAFETY – The ailing prisoners who are not fit to travel may also be produced before courts using PeopleLink video conferencing facility.
RECORDED SESSIONS – The video recording of the case hearing can be retrieved at any later time also, if required.
REDUCING TRAFFICKING – The trafficking of contraband articles such as Ganja, beedi, opium or smuggling of mobile phones etc back into the prison by the prisoners coming from courts can be prevented.
BENEFIT FOR PRISONER FAMILIES – With the same facility, prisoners can talk to their close relatives and family members.
AVOID OVERCROWDING – Virtual ecourt also help in avoiding over crowding at any single place when an important or complex case is being discussed in the courtroom.
PeopleLink has set up Display Unit, Professional Audio Conference Speaker phone, PTZ Camera for the Prison Studio set up. Prisoners can simply connect to the magistrate right from the studio which is set up in the Jail premises itself and be present for his hearing, without the need to physically travel to the courtroom. Now Prisoners need not go to court to depose and can instead give their representation from the prison itself, without the need for going out as well as avoid un-necessary delays.
According to a senior Officer at the Prisons Department, “Video conferencing facility aims to reduce the burden of appointing 2000 to 3000 police personals across the state daily for taking accused to the courts for hearing”.
Growing Popularity of eCourts and Virtual Courtrooms
“Virtual” online meetings have become the new normal in the wake on Covid19 pandemic. More and more judiciary systems are now adapting to online ecourt hearings for dispensing Justice. Infact, in April 2021, the Supreme court of India, went to working in online virtual court mode only as covid cases soared across the nation. The court administration suspended all physical hearings and returned to only work in virtual mode. Judges also functioned out of their residences instead of the court building during the height of pandemic situation.
Lawyers seek continuation of virtual hearing at NCLT due to spurt in Covid-19 cases
Similarly, Over 750 lawyers wrote to the Acting President of NCLT, BSV Prakash Kumar to exclude the Mumbai bench from initiating any physical hearing keeping in mind, the surge in the Coronavirus infection in Maharashtra and in Mumbai.
Restricting crowd assembly at a single place has encouraged the popularity of ecourts and virtual courtrooms and eased the law and order situation management for the law enforcement agencies.
Peoplelink is enabling smooth implementation and easy set up of ecourts for making virtual court hearings a success, and allowing Judiciary access from any location.