Witnesses in Rajasthan now need not travel kilometres just to record a statement in person in the court. They can record their statements through video conferencing at VC Remote Point studios created at district courts across the state.
The judges at Banipark, Jaipur and Ganganagar Courts have commenced this facility successfully. The hardware to conduct the VC has been installed in 1242 courts across the state.
The high court had notified rules of recording statements through video conferencing on August 2, 2021, and, the Rajasthan government was the first state in the country to amend the CRPC for this.
Harat Kaviraj, the DIG of Special Operations Group of Rajasthan has become the first IPS officer to avail the facility. Kaviraj got recorded his statements as a witness through the VC in a prosecution sanction case heard in the Ganganagar Court while being present at Jaipur Metropolitan Court. The trial of the case is on in the Ganganagar court. Kaviraj says that he used to travel 1000 km to the Ganganagar to record statements as the witness, making him absent for three days from the office. The VC will save time and speed up trials.
In the first phase, such VC Remote Points Studios have been made available in all the district courts. A coordinator, who is an employee of the court, is appointed to operate the studios. In the second phase, Taluka courts will get the VC Remote Points facility. V Saravan Kumar, the Special Secretary to the home department, said that the government offices and hospitals will be connected with this too. The facility will ensure timely recording of statements by the witnesses as per the rules notified by the high court. This will save time and government expenditure, and speedy trials will be possible altogether. The transparent process of VC is expected to bring down pendency in court cases as well.
Under this process, the Public Prosecutor (PP) requests the court to record statements of the witnesses through VC. Once the court grants permission the court's officers shall arrange the VC. The witnesses need to go to the VC Remote Points to record the statements. Later the details of statements will be sent by mail to the witness who sends it back to the court after signing and scanning. The original signed documents along with the witness' ID and documents will be dispatched too.
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