Posted by Ash gee on Saturday, February 7, 2009, 19:09
Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court is set to become the first court in the country to implement the model e-court project, synergising technology with the judicial process to reduce bottlenecks in the system.
The project, which will be implemented on a pilot basis from tomorrow, will provide tamperproof, authenticated audio-video recording of courtroom proceedings along with multipoint video conferencing facilities between the courtroom, central jail, police commissioner’s office and the forensic science laboratory. The project will be first to put into practice at the City Civil and Sessions Court here. Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan will inaugurate the project tomorrow.
“This is unique project in the country and is being implemented for the first time by the Gujarat High Court,” Gujarat H C Registrar General P P Bhatt told media persons here today.
“This is an initiative by the Central government to make the judicial process more transparent, remove the bottlenecks and making the justice delivery speedier,” Bhatt said. He said that the uniqueness of this project is that besides video conferencing with various agencies, the entire proceedings will be recorded and will be available for the judges to review the process in case of doubts.
“This will not only help the judiciary, but the police and the jail authorities who spent a considerable amount of time and manpower to transport under trials between court and central jail,” Bhatt said.
Principal Sessions Judge G B Shah, who was present during the briefing, said that this would help in case when a witness turns hostile during the course of trial or review the statements of the lawyers, prosecution as well as defence.
He said that this will help the judicial system to streamline and expedite their operations.
Talking about the benefits of e-court, Inspector General (Prisons) Keshav Kumar said that now there won’t be need to physically transport any under trial from central jail to court.
“Since 2004, over 23,000 prisoners have been presented before the court, which has led to an expenditure of over Rs 89 lakh on escort and fuel expenses, besides the numerous man-hours lost in the process,” Kumar said, adding that with e-courts lot many man-hours will be saved which could be utilised elsewhere.
The e-court project is being set up with financial support of Central government and technical support of Technology, Information, Forecasting and Assement Council (TIFAC), Centre for Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and National Infromatic Centre (NIC).
The initial cost for the pilot project is about Rs 82.50 lakh, with an estimated recurring cost of Rs 5.30 lakh per annum. The cost of replicating the project comes to around Rs 24 lakh.
The Gujarat H C Registrar General P P Bhatt said that after a year, the results of the e-court will be analysed and based on its conclusions, the project will be implemented in other districts of the state.
The project is likely to be implemented in three big districts of Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat during the second phase, he added.