Supreme Court goes the Technology way: Video Conferencing helps the apex court to proceed with cases during Covid19 lockdown

“Think Out of the Box” is a common phrase used while looking for innovative solutions.

The usual Court room would see people standing inside the accused box / witness box. But during unprecedented times, even the Supreme Court thinks out of the box.

The Supreme Court of India itself is abiding by the Universal law that each citizen should be strictly following now: Social Distancing.

The Covid19 pandemic has impacted the lives and livelihood of people across the globe. Work From Home has become the new norm of the Society and people are trying to cope up with this drastic change in their lifestyle.

Technology is one thing which is helping everyone to stay connected and yet maintain the required Social distancing measures. In these testing times, one thing which can act as a soothing factor is to get decisions on urgent cases which are due for hearing at the Apex Court. The ruling / approvals on such urgent cases can definitely be the light at the end of the tunnel for many businesses and help them to get their breath back.

Today was a special day at the Supreme Court as case hearings took place through Video Conferencing. The Court had tried video conferencing within the court rooms few days ago. But this is the first time Video Conferencing is used to connect judges and advocates and that too from their respective chambers / offices / homes.

VJCV: What is your take on the role of technology in enabling our judicial system during the lockdown?

Mr. K. V. Viswanathan, Senior Advocate: “Today has heralded a new era ,for the Indian Judiciary. This path breaking video conference method, though initiated under the shadow of the lockdown, has really come to stay. Necessity as they say is the mother of invention. Access to justice will acquire a new dimension. From the remote corners of the country, people will be able to access the highest court. Once institutionalised, it will reduce the cost of litigation and enhance the reach of the court.”

The Court used the conferencing tool Vidyolink powered by Vidyo Inc. A morning session and an afternoon session was conducted with the help of this technology.

One of the key cases which was brought to court’s hearing today was the appeal of FADA (Automobile Federation) to extend the deadline in regard with the Sales of BSIV vehicles. Due to unforeseen conditions, dealers across India are sitting on heavy stock of two wheeler and four wheeler inventory.

The Supreme Court convened today through Video Conferencing.

Mr. K. V. Viswanathan, learned senior counsel appeared on behalf of the applicant / FADA. The Supreme Court ordered that the already sold vehicles (which are not registered due to the lockdown conditions) be registered by 30.04.2020. In addition to this, the court also permitted the sales of unsold vehicles but not beyond 10% of stock. A much needed relief to automobile ecosystem though more steps will be required to liquidate the complete stock.

It is indeed heartening to see that the Supreme Court of India is making use of technology and hearing urgent cases. This will definitely bring some smile on the faces of people in these tough times.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has also started using Video Conferencing from the start of this week to attend to cases.

Covid19 has changed the whole perspective of the globe and it is now time for each institution as well as individual to make sure that they align themselves to these changes. This will definitely pave path to a new beginning , a new dawn , a new world.

“Where there is a Will, there is a Way”

Stay Safe, Stay Stay Home, Stay Positive.

Hope to see all the courts virtually ordering to banish Corona Virus from this earth 🙂

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