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OVERVIEW

Madras High Court conducted extensive training programmes online on topics such as e-filing, usage of video conferencing, e-court services, e-summons, e-payment, usage of e-Courts mobile app, service delivery at court complexes etc. Such training was conducted by the Tamil Nadu Judicial Academy. 

The Computer Committee of the High Court, which directed and supervised such training, was chaired by the Board of Governors of the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy and Justice TS Sivagnanam. Justice Sanjib Banerjee, the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court is the Patron-in-chief of the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy.

Such training sessions were live telecasted from three Judicial academies in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore on the 13th and 14th of March, and the sessions were attended by around 308 advocates. They were requested to in turn impart the knowledge gathered to the other advocates in need of such assistance.

Such training was conducted in an attempt to better acquaint them with the various aspects of virtual courtroom practices.


BACKGROUND 

The outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic had brought the entire world to a standstill, including the transport system and the judicial system. At the onset of the waves of the pandemic, the judicial systems were temporarily non-functional which led to piling up of cases in the various courts. Deadlines of petitions were extended, and the absence of parties, witnesses, advocates, and any official of the courts who were reliant of public transport system led to postponement of delivery of justice.

In order to curb that, the appellate Courts of the nation began functioning via video conferencing in order to expedite the proceedings before it. But, a lot of the judicial officers and advocates who were not accustomed with technology felt discomfort and needed assistance in the functioning of such virtual proceedings and the paperwork associated with it to be managed and filed virtually. 

The current venture on the part of Madras High Court is an attempt to mitigate such problems of the advocates in want of such technological ease.

FURTHER DETAILS 

Justice AD Jagadish Chandira, referring to an earlier instant when an advocate had failed to maintain the court decorum and was rebuked by the Justice, said ““VC is a new thing to us. You may sometimes get angry but the same time, you must also understand, VC is nothing but a real court where you will have to imitate the decorum as in a real court.”

Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana said, “The appearance of advocates through VC has become the order of the day. It saves not only time and energy of the stakeholders bur saves the nation in many ways, which you all know… knowing the nuances of the same is necessary for every advocate for which I hope this programme would be of immense help”, while giving the opening remarks in one of the live-streamed sessions of the training programme from Madurai. She also urged all the participants to spread the knowledge they were enriched in by the training so imparted.

CONCLUSION

Justice N Sathish Kumar was of the opinion that the virtual system of conducting the court proceedings had “hiccups” in the beginning, but has currently picked up its pace and is working out satisfactorily. 

He observed that the unexpected situation of the COVID-19 pandemic which had led to the “immediate utilisation of e-court services as a fire-fighting measure, so that the access to justice and the administration of justice was not stalled.”

He also estimated that between March 26, 2020 and February 28, 2021, the Madras High Court has heard an approximated 5.06 lakhs cases through video conferencing, of which both the benches have combinedly disposed of around 1.27 cases.

Such a training would come in handy for the judicial officials and the representatives of the judiciary to get more acquainted with topics such as e-filing, usage of video conferencing, e-court services, e-summons, e-payment, usage of e-Courts mobile app, service delivery at court complexes etc.


WHAT IS YOUR OPINION REGARDING SUCH TRAINING? DO LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
 

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