Jails to Conduct Trials using Videoconferencing

DQI Bureau
New Update

Starting with UP, the primary jails across the country will soon boast

of href="">videoconferencing

facilities for conducting trials of prisoners. In a major

e-governance initiative, the government has decided to avoid as much as

possible the traveling of under-trials to the various courts for their

hearing. A precedence to this exists in Jharkhand, where a href="">prison

management system was implemented and is up and running for all

jails in the state.

Thanks to the system, all prisons in the state can now boast of an
extensive prisoners database. This includes verification through

biometric functions and segregation of all prisoners into categories

like convicts, under trials, detenues; first time offenders or habitual

offenders; prisoners suffering from communicable diseases, etc.

The case details of every prisoner and the next date of appearing in
court, date of release, etc, are all recorded automatically. The system

also has features which can automatically calculate and transfer the

remission earned through the period of imprisonment. It also maintains

a history ticket for each prisoner which contains a record of

achievements and punishments during the term served.

The visitors management system also has helped in bringing greater
efficiency and order into the prisons. The details of every visitor,

including photographs, are captured and monitored. An automatic refusal

is issued to people who are visiting before an appropriate time lapse.

Although the systems in UP jails will not be as comprehensive, at the
first level, they are trying to obliterate travel and the href="">security

risks associated with it.

"We had been planning to find some way to avoid periodical
transportation of undertrials to courts for seeking extension of their

remand, which needs to be done every 14 days. Once the

videoconferencing facility is in place, the task will become simple,"

State Additional Director General (Prisons) Sulkhan Singh told IANS.

The facility will be introduced in seven prisons at Meerut, Naini,
Mirzapur, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Varanasi and Lucknow in May. It will be

extended to all the 62 jails in the state over the next five years.

In Lucknow alone, 300-400 undertrials are taken from the local district
jail to various courts every day. That involves huge logistics, apart

from security threat.

Admitting that over 100 under-trials escape from police custody every
year while traveling between jail and courts Singh said, "The proposed

videoconferencing arrangement will prove as a savior for href="">police


Given the scale of the operation, there is a huge opportunity for the
players in the videoconferencing space. Although no details of the

vendors are out as yet, bidding is yet to start in several cases. And

over and above that, it will help in reducing the href="">carbon

footprint of the police too!