‘Virtual Courts Not Antithetical To Open Court System’: Supreme Court

first_imgTop Stories’Virtual Courts Not Antithetical To Open Court System’: Supreme Court Akshita Saxena4 May 2020 1:21 AMShare This – x”The time has come when the Judicial organ of the State as whole must evolve into the age of technology and in such view, it is imperative that all the stakeholders must welcome, accept and act as per the necessities of a fair adjudicatory process before the Virtual Court system. Notwithstanding the resistance and technological challenges faced by the Virtual Court System today, at…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?Login”The time has come when the Judicial organ of the State as whole must evolve into the age of technology and in such view, it is imperative that all the stakeholders must welcome, accept and act as per the necessities of a fair adjudicatory process before the Virtual Court system. Notwithstanding the resistance and technological challenges faced by the Virtual Court System today, at its stage of dormancy, efforts should continue to strengthen its roots.” Recognizing the significant role played by the new-age Virtual Court Room System during the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has stated that the  practice of holding Court hearings through the video-conferencing mode was not against the concept of “open court hearing”. Recently, the Chairman of the Bar Council of India had advised the CJI against continuation of virtual hearings post lockdown, stating that the same affects the “open court room practice” and judicial transparency. The Top Court has now said in a press note that the process of adjudication itself does not demand an “Open Court”. It has stated that the Open Court, in its physical existence, was evolved at a time when technology was not as advanced. However, in the new age where technology has tapped almost every aspect of our lives, it cannot be said that Virtual Court Rooms are in many manner “antithetical” to the open court system. “What needs to be underlined is that the traditional Open Court system, in its physical manifestation, and new age Virtual Court System are not antithetical to each other; on the contrary, both systems could definitely co-exist, delivering deliver qualitative justice, wherever deployed in light of extant circumstances,” it has said in a detailed note issued on Saturday. ‘Openness’ of Courts, the Supreme Court has said, is a tool to ensure procedural fairness and transparency, so that the ‘rule of law’ dictum of an impartial and uniform adjudicatory process is adhered to and achieved. For the same, presence of Advocates, Litigants and Media representatives is allowed in the Court premises. Since the same has now been secured by way of Virtual Court rooms, the Top Court said that the essentials of an Open Court system are not “physical bodily presence” of the parties and/or the media in a brick-and-mortar Court room. As per the note, an Open Court mandates (i) Access of all the parties to the hearings; (ii) Right to participate in hearings, to the parties or their legal representatives; and (iii) Access to Court hearings and their outcome, to the public and media. “If the aforesaid three mandates of an ‘Open Court’ System could be secured and ensured through virtual presence and communication, the functionality of a Virtual Court cannot be said to lacking adherence to the concept of Open Court hearing,” the Supreme Court said. It added, “The argument that the hearings are not taking place in general public view does not hold water as, even before the pandemic, access of general public was not being allowed and was regulated so that no inconvenience is caused to the Bar members, and also to minimize security threats and instead, members of the media, as public representatives, were being granted access in each Court room.” Dispelling the notion that Virtual Court rooms do not offer “open access” to court proceedings, the Supreme Court intimated, “Currently under the virtual court system, the litigants indicated by the Advocate on Record, Advocate on Record himself and the Senior Counsel are provided with the video conferencing links to join from remote points. They are able to hear, see and respond to the other party and the Bench simultaneously, during the proceedings of the Virtual Court. …besides the parties and their respective Advocates of a case being heard by the Bench, the parties and/or Advocates awaiting the turn of their cases to be taken up are also joined ‘virtually’ beforehand and, exactly in the manner possible in physical Courts, they do witness, albeit on their virtual screens, the live proceedings of cases taken up before theirs. Most importantly, a special Viewing Facility has been provided by the Registry in the Video-Conferencing Room established for parties in the Supreme Court premises, where the media persons, as representatives of the public, are allowed access and can watch the proceedings of all the matters being held before the Virtual Court(s). The proceedings of almost all cases, as well as their outcomes, are being widely reported in the Media.” In view of such state of affairs, the Top Court said “These developments are testimony to the fact that the proceedings before the Virtual Court(s) of the Supreme Court of India are open in every sense of the term, both physically and virtual, except that they are not requiring physical presence of all the parties/counsels/media-persons at the same time under the same roof, in a Court-room before the Hon’ble Bench.” It went on to state that ‘Open Court’ hearing, in its physical manifestation, is neither a right nor can be claimed as such by any party to any lis. “Access to public in an Open Court system, does not imply in any manner that unlimited and unregulated access to members of public at large has to be granted inside a Court of Law, for its functioning to be witnessed and/or validated by them. Courts of Law as public places, in more senses than one, are different from Public Parks or such other Public Places/Spaces,” it remarked. The Supreme Court thus observed the following: (1) Open Court is not an end in itself, but a medium for fair adjudication; (2) Open Court hearings cannot be claimed as a matter of absolute right; (3) Open Court necessitates access to litigants and public, and/or their representatives, but not their bodily presence together in any given place; (4) There may be alternate models of Open Court system, in its physical sense. As of May 1, 2020, the Supreme Court has heard 538 matters in addition to 297 connected cases. In 22 days of hearings conducted via video conferencing, 116 benches of the Top Court have delivered judgments in 57 CAV matters and in 268 connected matters. On comparing this data with what the achievements of courts in foreign jurisdictions, the Supreme Court said, “The Judiciary of the Indian Republic is known and acknowledged as one of the most robust and progressive judicial institutions around the world, supporting and serving a democratic order. The aforesaid data from across various Judiciaries, would indicate that, crippled as they are by the lockdowns and social distancing norms in place to fight the spread of the COVID-19 infection, few have been able to manage what the Supreme Court of India has delivered, despite being in almost similar circumstances though with much less resources.” Lastly, the Supreme Court remarked that justice cannot be “spoon-fed”. “Justice delivery, even at the door-steps of the stakeholders, requires the stakeholders of the ecosystem to diligently discharge their role and duties, prescribed and required in the scheme of things. The advantages of the Virtual Court System, especially in terms of time, energy and money saved by the litigants and Counsels in ensuring their presence before a Court are innumerable and could be game-changers too,” it concluded. Next Storylast_img read more

School Facilities

first_imgI know I am prejudiced when it comes to school facilities for sports, because I spent most of my career coaching.  However, all people in the medical fields keep telling us that our young people are not getting the exercise they need.  With the fact that all school activities are done with computers and almost every student has some type of personal device they carry with them, it is certain that the most exercise a lot of them are getting is with their right and left thumbs.  However, any time a school proposes any additions to their physical plant, a large community group always opposes these plans.If a school is increasing its enrollment, it is inevitable that you will have to add on sometime.  It is a known fact that if you do any type of construction the more you can do at once reduces the overall cost in the long run.  So if you are adding classrooms, it is much easier to add gymnasiums for physical activity and/or auditoriums for the arts while you are adding the classrooms rather than trying to do it at a separate time.We no longer live in a manufacturing society as we did 75 years ago.  Today everything involves technology of some sort, so what we are teaching in the classroom has changed.  Schools are constantly forced to make changes to keep up with these trends.  Let’s keep our kids bodies as healthy as their minds when it comes to adding school facilities.last_img read more

Men’s basketball: Second-half surge carries Badgers over Sooners

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team won their third straight game Saturday, outscoring the University of Oklahoma Sooners by 23 in the second half to cruise to a 90-70 victory. The win avenges the team’s close loss a season ago to the out-of-conference foe and marks a big step in the right direction for a Badger squad that started off the season on a rocky note.Wisconsin was again led by one of their dynamic senior scorers as Nigel Hayes posted a season-high 28 points en route to the Badgers’ second consecutive win over a power-five team.Men’s basketball: Senior scorers lead No. 17 Wisconsin to victory over No. 22 SyracuseThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team showed massive improvements for the second consecutive game with a hot start riding Read…The Badgers started off slowly, trailing the Sooners for the entirety of the first half before turning things around in the second. The game was back-and-forth until a crucial turnover with 10 minutes left from Oklahoma sparked a 15-point Badger run.After a layup from Wisconsin sophomore forward Ethan Happ, Oklahoma tried to inbound the ball quickly but was called for stepping over the line in the process. The crowd and the Badgers subsequently erupted, scoring 15 unanswered to take a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished.Hayes posted another impressive performance, leading all players with 28 points and 6 assists on 8-for-13 shooting. It seems as though Hayes has found his form in the last couple of games after a slow start to the season, most likely due to his improved shot selection.“I haven’t told him don’t shoot 3s,” head coach Greg Gard said. “But I’ve just showed him, on paper, in terms of numbers and stats and on film where it makes him most effective and what it does for our team.”Hayes was attempting five three-pointers a game through the first six games of the season, shooting just 29 percent in the process. Over the last three games, Hayes has shot just two three-pointers, making both of them. He’s shot 58 percent over that span, and the Badgers are 3-0.“And that’s always Nigel’s main concern is how can our team be the best,” Gard said. “He’s motivated by winning more than anything else.”The Badgers also saw a spark from freshman D’Mitrik Trice, who stepped up in a game where senior Bronson Koenig wasn’t shooting particularly well, making just 5-for-16 shots.Trice scored a career-high 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including going 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. The freshman is now shooting an astonishing 65 percent (13-20) from downtown this season and is earning himself a regular role off the bench for the Badgers.The Badgers also saw 16 points from Koenig and Happ, highlighting the multiple sources of offense UW can draw on. Wisconsin now enters an easier part of their schedule with no ranked opponents before their second Big Ten conference game, taking on a top-ten Indiana University team on the road in January.Men’s basketball breakdown: Wisconsin cruises past Syracuse in top-25 matchupThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team rolled to a 77-60 win over Syracuse Tuesday night at the Kohl Center. Read…Wisconsin will be back on the hardwood Wednesday against Idaho State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Kohl Center.last_img read more

Plenty of action on final transfer day

first_imgIn the final hour of the January window, Stoke announced the capture of highly-rated defensive midfielder Giannelli Imbula from FC Porto for 18.3 million pounds.The French international has signed a five-and-a-half year deal at the Britannia Stadium.That deal bettered the 13.5 million pounds that Everton paid for Senegalese striker Oumar Niasse from Lokomotiv Moscow after Irish international Aiden McGeady had earlier been allowed to leave Goodison Park to join Sheffield Wednesday on-loan for the season.last_img

European Tour Considers Listing E’Guinea Open on Schedule

first_imgOlawale Ajimotokan in Mongomo, E’GuineaEquatorial Guinea’s strategic investments in golf is inching toward global recognition after the European Tour hinted it was considering listing the yearly 3e Actuaries Equatorial Guinea Open on its tournament schedule.The development will come as a big wake up call to Nigeria, which has for over two decades, neglected its National Open Championship and allowed it to slip into comatose.The Tournament Director for the European Tour, Jose Maria Zamora, was in Mongomo to assess Equatorial Guinea Open Championship, which officially tees off on Thursday with a field of almost 70 golfers from 27 countries including Nigeria. Zamora, who also doubles as the Assistant Challenge Tour Director of the European Tour and is in charge of the Tours anti doping effort, regulation book and new projects, said yesterday that the visit would provide a platform to assess African players on the possibility of some of them joining the European Tour.In an exclusive chat with THISDAY in Mongomo, he said that he undertook the visit because of the report he had received about Equatorial Guinea Open and the large number of African golfers that usually attend it.“You never know where the next Tiger Woods will come from. The idea is to develop golf tournament all over the world and open up to the new places where we can give opportunities to new African players to join the European Tour and make a living. We are assessing Equatorial Guinea Open, its facilities, infrastructure and organisation if there is a possibility the tournament could be part of our schedule in the future. We will be very happy if that happens,’’ Zamora said.According to him, a tour in Africa can be integrated into the European Tour if it attains a prize and organisation level that matches their expectation, adding afterwards they will be granted world ranking points and an easy pathway to the European Tour.“To be part of the Euro Tour, a player must become a member via ranking or be an associate member, where he can have his winnings on any event counting towards the ranking, while depending on his position on the ranking, he can get exemption for the following year’’.Zamora said Nigeria can be listed on the European Tour if the golf federation and local PGA drive sponsorship and formally approach the Tour, which will consider the proposal if the conditions and facilities are suitable.CHAMPIONS LEAGUE(Today 8.45pm)R’Madrid v DortmundPorto v LeicesterTottenham v CSKAC’Brugge v CopenhagenLeverkusen v MonacoLyon v SevillaJuventus v D’ZagrebLegia v SportingShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more