Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Video Conferencing Laws And Regulations In India

Use of vide conferencing in business community of India is not new and it is in use for long. Even use of vide conferencing for legal and judicial purposes is not new in India. Courts in India have been using video conferencing for litigation purposes especially for receiving evidence from witness.

Even Indian laws like Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000), Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, etc allows use of video conferencing for various legal and judicial purposes. The cyber law of India even confers recognition to electronic documents, e-governance and e-commerce.

Use of information technology for legal and judicial purposes is well known. For instance, IT can be use for establishment of e-courts in India. Similarly, IT can also be used for establishing online dispute resolution (ODR) mechanism in India. Even electronic bail granting and communication system in India may be a possibility in near future.

However, use of video conferencing in India is not free from trouble. Recently a man who filed his divorce petition through a video conference from Canada was directed to make a personal appearance in the court. Now personal appearance is a concept that strikes at the very concept of e-courts and video conferencing.

Similarly, the recent cancellation of the Salman Rushdie’s video conferencing in India is another example of troubled use of the same in India. It seems the permission to broadcast such video conferencing was not given by the police.

Crucial speech and expression and law and order maintenance issues are involved in such cases. There is an urgent need to formulate clear and constitutional norms and regulations regarding video conferencing in India.