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HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014

Jharkhand’s first video-verdict to Lalu

Anbwesh Roy Choudhury, Hindustan Times  Ranchi, October 02, 2013
First Published: 19:51 IST(2/10/2013) | Last Updated: 20:00 IST(2/10/2013)

Jharkhand is set to script history by delivering an e-judgment on Thursday. RJD chief and ex-Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, convicted in the fodder scam, will get a verdict through video conferencing in Jharkhand. This is the first sentencing through video link or conferencing in Jharkhand.

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Meeting Lalu’s popularity in court verdicts was 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab’s death sentence confirmed by Bombay HC through video link

The judgment in the historical fodder scam to 34 convicted, including Lalu, of the total 45 accused will be communicated to them from the Ranchi CBI Court to the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Hotwar through the e-medium.

Inception of video conferencing in Jharkhand began in May 23, 2012 when trial proceedings in a 2009 rape case in Deoghar were beamed live at the Jharkhand HC in presence of fromer Supreme Court Judge, Justice Altamas Kabir and former Chief Justice Jharkhand HC Prakash Tatia.

Manoranjan Kavi, Central Project Coordinator of the e-committee of Jharkhand high court said, "This is the first sentencing through video link or conferencing in Jharkhand and most probably first in the country involving a high profile politician."

On Thursday, Lalu and the other 33 convicts will sit in front of a video-camera and their image will be directly streamed to the screen present at the Ranchi CBI Court, the process will vice versa at the Birsa Jail.

The state again did a first time in September 22, 2013 when an e-court facility was inaugurated in the Ranchi civil court premises, which will also witness the fodder scam verdict.  On its opening day the e-court saw the online trial of two cases, done connecting three jails at one go.

Currently the civil court has been connected to all 26 jails in Jharkhand, which include three central jails- Birsa Jail in Ranchi, Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan Central Jail, Hazaribagh and Dumka Central Jail-, 19 district jails and four sub-jails.

A minimum of three jails could be connected through the e-court room at a single time.

The Ranchi civil court comes under a nationwide project to connect jails and district courts across the country via a tele-justice or video conferencing system.

Through this a defendant can be present in a court through a video link between the prison and the court. It is expected that in the near future, about 300 jails and 2,000 courts in India will be connected in this manner via video conferencing.


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