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Supreme Court dissatisfied with Virtual Court hearing glitches

Sreya Kanugula

The Supreme Court expressed its dissatisfaction at the functioning of the virtual court system set up for them. The technical problems that arose, finally stretched the SC’s patience too thin and the following statement was made by the bench. The bench led by Justice Sanjar Kishan Kaul, with the presence of Justices Hrishikesh Roy and Dinesh Maheshwari, stated that —

“We at the inception must note our exasperation at the inability of the virtual court system to work satisfactorily in the Supreme Court while there is no such problems in the Delhi High Court next door!”

It seems that the bench were trying to grapple with disconnectivity and several voice resonance issues since January 4, 2021. They stated that this matter be directed to the Secretary General soon, as it’s become quite difficult to hold proceedings appropriately with such glitches in the system.

The SC has begun virtual proceedings along with the platform usage of the VIDYO, that’s hosted upon the National Data Centre’s servers to video conference. Whereas, the High Court of Delhi makes use of Cisco WebEx platform to conduct its hearings. The virtual court system rolled into motion and is being followed since March 2020 due to the COVID19 lockdown. This particular system of virtual proceedings has helped immensely with the apex court’s work in the past year and several days of work have been successfully completed.

Due to complaints and teething problems among lawyers in April 2020, the Bar Association of the SC requested the temporary facilities set up for video conferencing to be improved as soon as possible. This was done so in the hopes of live streaming court hearings and to replace the current platform with a more multi-user friendly one.