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Installation of facilities to be delayed

Installation of video conferencing facilities in 18 central and district prisons across the state will be delayed by more than two months.

mumbai Updated: Apr 06, 2010 01:16 IST
HT Correspondent

Installation of video conferencing facilities in 18 central and district prisons across the state will be delayed by more than two months.

The Bombay High Court on Monday granted more time to the state government to connect local courts with jails.

Earlier the high court had set the deadline for the state government to link all the jails with trial courts through video conferencing on March 31.

Public Prosecutor Pandurang Pol sought to extend the deadline until mid-July to complete the first phase of the project, but a division bench of Justice DB Bhosale and Justice AR Joshi granted time till June 15.

Pol said in the first phase all trial courts will be connected with 18 central and district prisons, which are overcrowded with undertrial prisoners.

Sunil Gaikwad, an undertrial lodged at the Nashik Central Prison, had raked up the issue by writing to the high court.

A report submitted by the superintendent of the Nashik Central Prison had revealed that many undertrial prisoners were not produced before trial courts on scheduled dates due to non-availability of police escort. Gaikwad’s own trial was adjourned 14 times between February 2008 and February 2009 for the same reason.

The Home department then decided to connect all jails and trial courts through video conferencing so that trials are not adjourned merely due to non-production of the accused persons.

Till date, 43 courts at 29 places are connected with jails by video conferencing link.

Gaikwad's lawyer Manisha Jagtap suggested that video conferencing could be used even to conduct trials so that trials are expedited.