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Video conferencing facilities in all courts by March 2017 observes Bombay High court

Keeping in mind, the shortage of policemen to escort accused and under trials in courts, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the registrar of courts to ensure that all courts in the state are equipped with video conferencing facilities by March 2017.

The court was hearing a petition based on a letter by an accused who complained that he was not produced in court by the police on one pretext or the other in 2011. The dvocate for the petitioner, while pointing to the problem of absence of escort parties, reminded the HC that its solution of video conferencing was against the right of the accused or undertrial to be produced in court to which the court asked the state to respond.

A division bench of Justices V.M. Kanade and N. Sardessai was hearing a plea based on a letter by Pradeep D’mello who was lodged in Thane jail complaining of not being taken for his court dates. The letter complained that on his court dates and that of others, the jail authorities on various pretexts did not produce them in court. Acting on the letter, the court called on advocate Niteen Pradhan as amicus curiae counsel for the petitioner. “Due to shortage of escorts, the court in previous hearings had suggested setting up video conferencing facilities. However, the court counsel said that 248 courts in the state did not have the same. I also reminded the court that while the conferencing facility was good, the mandate for accused and under trials was that they should be produced in court,” said Mr Pradhan.

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