Advocates should not be Apologetic About Virtual Court Hearings

Virtual hearings in the courts are no less than a boon for the advocates and litigants and the need is to make them more user-friendly and flawless. But as they say, old habits die hard, and therefore some of the

advocates still find it difficult to adopt them. It is very strange that some of the advocates become apologetic while appearing before the courts. They apologise to courts for not having appeared physically-this attitude of theirs is hard to explain. This speaks of their unscientific temper and anti-technology bent of mind at a time when Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to make big headway in court functioning. Later or sooner, AI is bound to play a very important role in judicial work throughout the world. It will revolutionise the system as it will go a long way in eliminating the banes of corruption and delay in the judiciary.

As a matter of fact, the concept of virtual courts is aimed at considerably reducing the presence of litigants and lawyers in the courtrooms. This method is a great saving of time and money for all stakeholders. In this age of heavy traffic, it takes a lot of time in commuting from the residence to the courts and vice versa. If one goes by car or taxi or any other mode of transport, it costs money and increases pollution. When going from home to court, the advocates or litigants invariably incur expenses on tea/coffee, snacks or meals.

The biggest advantage for advocates is that they can handle many cases of different courts by working from their offices or home-cum-offices, which is highly difficult during physical hearings. Apart from it, the courtrooms normally get crowded, which can be avoided by adopting the virtual mode of hearings. However, there is not all hunky-dory in the virtual hearings. Sometimes electric and electronic machines create problems The other disadvantage that I feel is that it leaves the advocates isolated and they remain deprived of socialisation, which is very necessary for healthy mental equilibrium.

But there is no denying that the advantages of virtual hearings far outweigh the physical hearings in the court. Therefore, the advocates should not feel shy about adopting the new method of virtual hearings. At the same time, the government and the courts should come forward to augment the facilities for virtual hearings. Some investments must also be done by the advocates for arranging better gadgets and internet facilities so that they do not have to face glitches during the virtual hearings.