The Delhi High Court could explore “hologram technology” in the future, which could potentially allow lawyers to argue in court from a remote location, Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed said on Thursday.
Justice Ahmed was speaking ahead of an event to mark 50 years of the Delhi High Court. He is a member of the organising committee for the celebrations and the head of the computer committee of the HC.
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On more immediate technological leaps, he said a white paper was likely to be released within two months, with detailed proposals for “tele-presence” and video-conferencing-enabled courtrooms.
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The High Court is exploring “future technology” to allow better access to justice and transparency. The new C-block of the High Court, which is currently under construction, is likely to have courtrooms with “video walls” set up for “tele-presence”, or full video conferencing facilities that allow lawyers and litigants to be “present” in court from another location.
Video-conferencing facilities have been present in Delhi courts for several years now, to allow undertrial prisoners in sensitive cases or witnesses in other countries to depose before court. The HC also has a “video-conferencing room” that allows judges to examine witnesses.
“It (holograms in court) may become a reality very soon… if the technology permits,” said Justice Ahmed, adding that the judges of the court were also looking into the developments.
The press conference was also attended by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Siddharth Mridul, who are members of the organisation committee.
The judges also spoke about the various achievements of the HC in developing judicial precedents as well as various dispute resolution mechanisms.
The Delhi High Court has over 62,000 pending cases, said the judges, clarifying that “pendency” was different from “arrears”. “We have about 45,000 new cases filed every year. A case becomes an arrear if it has not been disposed of within one year,” said Justice Nandrajog. The judges also said the HC was operating at “half steam” since there were only 34 judges on the bench against the sanctioned strength of 60.
The judges said judicial appointments could not be done in the district courts due to lack of infrastructure and pointed out that there were “only 416 courtrooms in Delhi”.
The High Court’s 50th anniversary celebrations is scheduled for October 31, with PM Narendra Modi as the chief guest. Chief Justice of India T S Thakur will preside over the event.