The Bombay High Court has expressed displeasure over Maharashtra government’s failure to complete the process of installing video conference (VC) facility in all courts across the state. In December 2016, a division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade had directed the state Home department to ensure that all courts in the state have video conference facility by March this year.
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However, earlier this week, the high court was informed that since the last hearing (December 2016), the government has not taken any steps towards complying with the court order.
“No progress has been made since our last order on December 6. From the date of the previous order till date not a single court has been installed with video conference facility,” Justice Kanade said.
“We direct the Home department of the state government to expedite the process of installing video conference facilities in all courts. We know it will take time but it seems like it won’t happen without our constant supervision,” the court said, posting the matter for further hearing after four weeks.
The directions were passed while hearing a public interest litigation filed by one Shaikh Abdul Naeem, an accused in the Aurangabad arms haul case, claiming that he is not being produced in court due to lack of escort police.
On the last hearing, the court was informed by the high court administration that out of 2,200 courts in the state, video conference facilities have not been installed in 248 courts due to certain difficulties which have been brought to the notice of the state government.
Advocate S R Nargolkar, appearing for the HC administration, said all other courts in the state have video conference facilities and accused persons can be produced before the court from jail on video conference. Out of 248 courts, some are in Mumbai, Yavatmal and Wardha.