Court Allows Examination of Witness through Video Conferencing on Skype/ WhatsApp

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June 26, 2018

Case name: Sucha Singh v. Ajmer Singh & Anr.

In this interesting case, noting the Petitioner to be a material witness in the case, the High Court of Punjab & Haryana allowed examination of the witness through video-conferencing via WhatsApp, Skype or similar other applications.

In this case, the Petitioner resides in the USA and is a material witness in a case pending in Ludhinana, Punjab. In view of the circumstances, the High Court of Punjab & Haryana had earlier allowed the Petitioner to depose in the case through video-conferencing. However, the Court had directed that Petitioner/ witness will go to some local authority where such facility is available. Alternately, the petitioner will identify the Indian Consulate in the nearest place from his residence and produce the Court order to secure the permission for hearing and that the petitioner shall make himself available during the Court working hours in India.

In view of the time difference in India and USA, the High Court has now stated there was no necessity for the Petitioner to approach the Consulate as the Video Conferencing facility is now available at Computer and the Mobile and so many applications are available like Facetime, WhatsApp, Skype and other similar applications.

The Court has further noted that as the evidence is material to the decision of the case, the Petitioner Sucha Singh can examine himself by way of Video Conferencing through Mobile or Computer on an application, which shall be intimated to the trial Court and which shall be installed on the Computer, Laptop or I Pad.

In recent times, a wave of technological advancement has been witnessed and the Judiciary has welcomed the use of technology and social media applications like Skype and WhatsApp in prosecution of cases. This is a commendable move as it ensures speedy justice and may in the long run also aid in clearing the huge backlog of cases in India.

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