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3 Mumbai courts, 2 prisons get video-conferencing facility
BS Correspondent in Nagpur | December 18, 2004 15:59 IST
Last Updated: December 18, 2004 16:44 IST
The Maharashtra home department has commissioned video-conferencing facility at Mazgaon, Dadar and Borivali courts, and at Byculla and Arthur Road jails in Mumbai at a cost of Rs 1.5 lakh, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil informed the Legislative Council on Friday.
Patil was replying to a question on a Bill for amending laws to introduce information technology applications in the department.
Patil termed video-conferencing as the safest mode for 'producing' an accused in a court.
Ensuring the personal appearance of accused in these courts involved an expenditure of as much as Rs 17 lakh, but the video-conferencing set-up cost only Rs 1.5 lakh, he said.
"It is a cost-effective way of communication between the judiciary and the police. It will also avert any possibility of an attack on the accused while producing them personally before the court," he said.
He said several trials of video-conferencing between judges, advocates and accused in jails had been conducted prior to the tabling of the Bill.
The deputy chief minister said that the provision in the Bill had the President's consent.
Patil added that the facility would be housed in separate courtrooms in jails. If needed, judges can ask the accused to appear personally, he said.
The Bill was passed in the upper house of the state legislature on Wednesday.
Patil disclosed that the central government will share 60 per cent of the total expenditure on the state's project to modernize the police force. If proved successful, this facility will be implemented at all major courts and jails in the state, he added.
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