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"What Is A Virtual Court? How It Is Different From Normal Court? What Are The Advantages?", Explains Orissa HC CJ Dr.Justice S Muralidhar

Mehal Jain
4 Nov 2021 12:18 PM GMT
What Is A Virtual Court? How It Is Different From Normal Court? What Are The Advantages?, Explains Orissa HC CJ Dr.Justice S Muralidhar
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"Virtual courts have a big advantage in as much as there can be recording of evidence of witnesses from any location so that the trial can proceed without any hitch, and there can be specific time-slots for witnesses to appear so that there is no wastage of anyone's time. This will greatly enhance the speed at which we conduct the trial!", Orissa High Court Chief Justice S. Muralidhar...

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"Virtual courts have a big advantage in as much as there can be recording of evidence of witnesses from any location so that the trial can proceed without any hitch, and there can be specific time-slots for witnesses to appear so that there is no wastage of anyone's time. This will greatly enhance the speed at which we conduct the trial!", Orissa High Court Chief Justice S. Muralidhar has expressed.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the Model Virtual Courtrooms in the Districts of Angul and Nayagarh in Orissa, e-Custody Certificate System and Automated Email service for dissemination of case information, organised by the Orissa High Court.
"We are very much looking forward to the success of these two virtual courts so that we can replicate this in every district in Orissa. That is my vision- that there is one virtual court in every district!", stated Chief Justice Muralidhar.
He continued to explain that the virtual court is slightly different from the regular court which also does virtual hearings- "Because it has got equipment which can deal with recording of evidence, they have a visualiser to show documents to the witness etc. They can do multiple tasks virtually which may not exactly be possible in the normal courts having a virtual hearing. These are state-of-the-art technologies in these two virtual courts. The judicial officers are being trained to use the virtual courts". 
"Any of the judicial officers of that complex can book the virtual court for a hearing. What is of a big advantage is that there is slotting of specific times for the witnesses to appear so that there is absolutely no wastage of time and everybody is involved. There is a kind of a hybrid hearing also which goes on where lawyers for the defence can actually be present physically in the court while witnesses may be in a remote location but present in virtual hearing and it can seamlessly go on with the trial. This will greatly enhance the speed at which we conduct the trial! Irrespective of the actual location of the witness or the forensic science laboratory scientist or the doctor, we will have a slot at specific times for the examination so that the time is not wasted and the trial proceeds without any hitch", the judge told.
Chief Justice Muralidhar also shared that the district judges at the two courts at Angul and Nayagarh are two women judges- "The district judges at Angul and Nayagarh have been working tirelessly, literally day and night, to make this programme a success. They have lined up cases on every working day in November. Their calendar is already full for the virtual court. Thanks to these two remarkable women, who have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure that this programme is not only for the inauguration of a new venture but this venture will succeed". 
Chief Justice Muralidhar underlined the importance of the cooperation of the bar for the success of such ventures- "This is a great moment for the bar in the two districts who have given us their full support. I must also acknowledge that without the support of the bar, whether in the High Court or in the district court, such ventures would simply not be possible. The bar in both these districts readily embraced this idea and they have agreed to be fully cooperative and that is how we have been able to slot hearings for the whole of November in these two virtual courts. If the bar matches its steps with us, we can really take the Orissa judiciary faster into greater heights, and I am confident it will happen". 
Simultaneously, Chief Justice Muralidhar also highlighted the need for training of the bar- "We are in constant dialogue with the bar and we are training the bar to use these devices and we are also training the judicial officers. With these new ventures, training is of utmost importance. I have accepted the suggestion, very rightly made by the High Court bar, that when we turn to train the lawyers, we must also train the clerks working for the lawyers and we will be working on that too". 
The judge also acknowledged the involvement of the NIC, commending that they have been working tirelessly to ensure that this event is a success.
Addressing Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, who is the chairperson of the Supreme Court E-Committee, and who was present at the event as a guest, Chief Justice Muralidhar said, "At a very personal level, Dr. Justice Chandrachud, you have been a great inspiration for many judges across the country, particularly me. And we are always looking to you for expanding our vision and setting new goalposts".



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