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First E-court Starts Working in Rawalpindi

by Aftab Alam

Pakistan’s first e-court has been established in the twin cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, which has started its work on Wednesday. Sohail Nasir has been appointed the first judge of this e-court. On Wednesday, statements of two witnesses were recorded via Skype in a business case.

A witness from Sukkur, Sindh submitted a written statement, while Shaukat Hussain, Registrar of Security Exchange Commission (SEC) of Pakistan also made a written statement.

Witnesses took an oath before submitting the written testimony that they would respect the court as well as its orders during the due process.

During a trial, the arrested accused of the indictment Arshad has been charged and the cross examination has also been completed with the witnesses. According to the employee of the e-court, the aim of this court judge is to record witness statements by the use of video links officially for handling the cases efficiently and effectively. It will help  solve the issues in Pakistan by the help of latest technological tools and techniques. Different pending cases will be processed in which litigants can not come to the court proceedings. Furthermore, the witnesses who live in far flung places or abroad and cannot come to the court for recording their statements, or due to poverty, now, they can record their statements, both have been facilitated through Skype. The sharing of documents, images and snapshots will also be useful under this facility via the same medium.

Pakistani citizens and employees in different departments holding various key positions who cannot come to the court because of their day jobs, can now record statements via a video link from their offices. They can also be cross-examined by the court via the same video link. This is a positive and good step in the history of Pakistan to provide fast and easy justice for everyone.

The anti-terrorism court has recorded the statement of the U.S. citizen Mark Shygl earlier via video link from the United States, in the case of the murder of Benazir Bhutto. In this case, the witness could not come to Pakistan for security reasons. Lawyers in the case of the accused cross-examined on the witness on American soil via video link.
Related to the Memo Gate U.S. citizen Mansoor Ijaz’s statement was recorded by video link in the Pakistan High Commission in the UK, but this time the judicial commission’s secretary also attended the Pakistani High Commission.

Government servants in Pakistan can also send their messages and recordings via Skype for different cases under e-court. This will no longer require long leaves of absence to attend court proceedings on the part of government servants.

The Aim of E-court

The aim of establishing an e-court system in Pakistan is to handle pending cases as soon as possible by the use of video links via technological tools, techniques and programs like Skype. In addition, the witnesses who live in far away and remote areas as well as poverty stricken can now record their statements officially.