Presently, there exist no provisions concerning the employment of video conferencing technology within criminal trial proceedings related to the taking of evidence in the presence of the accused as stipulated under section 273 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The present paper seeks to discern the use of video conferencing technology and analyze its efficacy as regards its possible usage within the aforementioned trial proceedings as stipulated under the said section 273.
In this regard, the paper begins with a brief introduction to the notion of video conferencing and the presently available technologies to facilitate the same. This is followed by an inquiry into the genesis and evolution of the general use of video conferencing by Indian Courts in light of the prevailing circumstances existing at the time to effectuate a better understanding of the historical usage of the technology, leading up to the contemporary times. Subsequently, the current legal framework related to the use of video conferencing technologies in judicial proceedings is discussed in light of related judicial precedents and state amendments made to the said section. Thereafter, the penultimate segment of the paper details an analysis regarding the potential benefits and pitfalls that may emerge if video conferencing is adopted as a medium under section 273 by way of a legislative amendment to said section. The final segment suggests reformative measures which may be incorporated for the purposes of enhancing the functionality of the process under section 273 so as to render it more equitable and effective.