Inmates at the Tihar Jail can now get legal aid for pending cases — with just the click of a mouse. In a new initiative, the Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA) has launched a full-fledged video conferencing facility in all five district courts in the city.
Madan Lokur, Delhi High Court Justice and executive chairman, DLSA, said all district courts in the city would separately conduct regular video conferencing sessions once a week.
In past 10 days, more than 100 prisoners lodged in Tihar Jail have availed the facility. Prisoners can now connect to their counsels through video conferencing and also get latest updates on their cases pending in courts.
“From getting details about the next date of hearing to exploring aspects of free legal aid -- everything would be available for inmates,” said Gautam Manan, project officer, DLSA.
In case of any urgent request from the panel of lawyers or from undertrials, video conferencing for a particular under-trial may be conducted on the next working day.
The DLSA would also keep a close watch on the attendance of lawyers assisting prisoners.
During the conferencing, under-trials are encouraged to speak first and ensure that legal aid lawyers do not prompt them. For example, if an inmate is not satisfied with his legal aid counsel, he could ask the concerned DLSA secretary of the district court, via video conferencing, to provide him some other option.
Inmates could further seek bit-by-bit report regarding the status stage of their case.
All video conferencing sessions are conducted under the supervision of the concerned district court DLSA secretary.
“Through video conferencing, inmates could also raise queries about chargesheets, all of it would be from the premises of the Tihar Jail,” said Manan. Moreover, if under-trials were not willing to divulge private information via video conferencing, the concerned lawyer would visit the jail to discuss the issue.