Video system used for trial of criminal cases
LAHORE – First-ever video trial of criminal cases in Pakistan through video conference system (VCS) was held at the court of Senior Civil Judge Syed Zafar Ali Shah here on August 21.
This system of trial has been introduced on experimental basis. During the trial of the case, the judge remained present in his courtroom, while the lawyers in the presence of the accused pleaded their case in the jail.
The persons present on both sides could see each other on the in-set of the screen and could cross-question each other.
In the courtroom of Senior Civil Judge (SCJ), District and Sessions Judge Abdus Salam Khawar and others were also present during the proceedings of video trial in connection with bail matter of one Afaq Ahmed involved in murder case. The case was tried direct from camp jail, Lahore.
The lawyers were present in the jail along with the accused while the SCJ heard their arguments, while sitting in his courtroom.
The system worked properly and the people present in the court room appreciated the new system. However, on some occasions, there was a problem of voice hearing, but according to the technical staff available in the courtroom such faults appeared only due to new experience.
The first-ever video trial was conducted with the co-operation of Commtel Systems and National Telecommunication Corporation, which remained in process about one and half hours.
The next experiment would be done in the court-room of the district and sessions judge, Lahore, on August 23.
A demonstration to examine the feasibility of trial in courtrooms was conducted in the chamber of the Chief Justice, Lahore High Court.
The idea was appreciated, and it was decided that it should initially be tried for trial of condemned prisoners as well as hardened and desperate criminals detained in district jail, Lahore.
The video trial will avoid happening of untoward events apart from minimising the delay in concluding the trial. It will facilitate smooth conduct of the proceedings of condemned prisoners as well as desperate and hardened criminals. It would diminish inter-gang feuds in the jail vans during transportation and in the judicial lock-ups. The prisoners would also be relieved of the repetitive and periodical strain to which they are subjected to while attending the courts.
This system would eliminate over-crowding in the courts and result in speedy disposal of the cases. The menace of transportation of prohibited material like drugs and weapons into the jails would be curtailed considerably because of less mobility of the prisoners.
It may also ease the law-enforcement agencies in arranging security measures, and would spare them to spend their energies in maintaining law and order, crime prevention and crime detection.
Source: Business Recorder