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EXPLAINED : “FUNCTIONING OF THE VIRTUAL COURTS/COURTS PROCEEDINGS THROUGH VIDEOCONFERENCING”

EXPLAINED : “FUNCTIONING OF THE VIRTUAL COURTS/COURTS PROCEEDINGS THROUGH VIDEOCONFERENCING”     

How are Virtual Courts different from regular Courts?                                         

In Virtual Courts, complaints and other documents are filed electronically, arguments are heard over video conferencing /teleconferencing, evidence is submitted digitally, judges decide cases online either presiding from the physical Courtroom or sitting in some other place.

International experience of Virtual Courts

  • In the United States, many State Courts have either installed webcast equipment or have Virtual Courtrooms. 
  • The Singapore Supreme Court has successfully set up a Virtual Courtroom known as "The Technology Court".
  • Turkey has a national e-judiciary system called UYAP, which significantly increased the effectiveness and accessibility of the judicial system in Turkey.
  • In Canada, videoconferencing technology has been used to receive witness testimony in civil trials for over a decade.
  • Italy has an “On-line Civil Trial” facility which covers all civil cases throughout the country.

Virtual Courts and India

  • During the pre-COVID period, the Virtual Courts were primarily used for conducting remand matters to prevent movement of prisoners between Courts and jails.
  • The Supreme Court has given legal sanctity to virtual courts  by invoking Article 142 of the Constitution of India.

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