Friday, May 2, 2014

State jail officials want judges to hear cases on Skype

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The state prison authorities have proposed that courts should procure laptops equipped with Skype so that the judges can conduct hearings in cases involving high-security risk prisoners. Besides, they have also asked the staterun JJ Hospital to start a video-conferencing facility to enable 
the doctors to monitor if a prisoner is really required to be hospitalized.
    The move comes after several meetings of the prison officials over issues pertaining to jail security and shortage of escort personnel. “We have video-conferencing rooms in the jails. However,most of the courts do not have this facility and the judges have to walk to a common ‘video conferencing room’ to conduct the hearing. We have proposed laptops equipped with Skype be given to the judges and it will save time and money. The suggestion has been sent to the directorate of prosecution,” said asenior prison official.
    Another problem jail officials have been facing is the installation of jammers. In the past five years, at least five trials were conducted to place jammers within the Arthur Road jail. However, during each trial it was found that the electronic waves of the mobile phone tower were stronger than the jammers. “Finally, technical experts have found a solution to it and jammers will soon be installed at Arthur Road, Taloja and Thane jails,” said the official.
    Last month, Arthur Road Jail authorities had recovered a mobile phone, battery and a SIM card from a quadruple murder accused, Uday Pathak. He revealed he had been in touch with his other gang members through the mobile phone. “While we take all the precaution to stop such illegal activities, jammers would help us to disconnect mobile phone network within the jail premises,” said a jail official. 

    Nearly a dozen CCTV cameras are being installed at the Arthur Road jail. “This will send a message to the staff that they are also being monitored besides the prisoners,” a police source.



Installation of 20 CCTV cameras each in Arthur Road, Taloja and Thane jails
Video-conferencing between JJ Hospital doctors and inmates for treatment
Laptop with Skype facility in courts to communicate with the prisoners considered highsecurity risks 
The Times of India, May 2, 2014

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