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Report No. 198

(Q) 19. Should the tele-link and display on video be conducted only by a technical officer of the judicial branch and not by a police officer or other public servant and not by outsourcing to a private contractor?

As stated in questions number 10, 11 and 14, in certain circumstances, the statement of a witness may be recorded by video conferencing. This facility certainly requires services of technical personnel. Now question is, whether these technical personnel should only be from the judicial branch or they may be other public servants or police officers? Further, whether these technical personnel may be outsourced from a private contractor? This aspect is important because it may affect the impartiality and fairness in the trial.

Majority of the responses (28 in number) suggest that only technical officer of the judicial branch and not any other police officer or public servant should conduct tele-link and display on video. Among these 28 responses, 8 are from the police officials, 6 are from the State Government, 3 are from the Judges and 11 are from others.

Two State Governments and one other person have opined that these technical staff may be either from the judicial branch or they may be other public servants. However, two other State Governments are of the view that technical staff should be under the control of the judiciary.

One police officer has stated that the tele-link and video display should be conducted in such a way to ensure that the identity of the witness is not compromised whosoever may be conducting the same. Three other persons are also of the view that it can be conducted by anyone. Two police officers and two other persons have simply stated that it should be conducted only by technical persons.

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