Chapter

Undertrials and Videoconferencing

A.G. Noorani and South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre

in Challenges to Civil Rights Guarantees in India

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780198074144
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080823 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198074144.003.0006
Undertrials and Videoconferencing

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In India, there are many prisoners who have never been convicted of any crime and are simply awaiting or undergoing trial. These so-called undertrials are estimated at around 70 per cent of India's prison population. Videoconferencing has been proposed as a means to reduce the number of accused persons languishing in prison, but can undermine the legal and constitutional rights of detainees. This chapter outlines the scope of the undertrials problem in India and the failure of the implementation of judicial decisions and legislation aimed at addressing it. It also assesses the potential of videoconferencing and some of the problems that might arise from using it. The chapter concludes by arguing that quick-fix solutions such as videoconferencing are not the solution to reduce the number of undertrials, and instead stresses the need for proper implementation of bail systems under the law.

Keywords: undertrials; videoconferencing; prisoners; legislation; judicial decisions; bail systems

Chapter.  9568 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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