Presence of accused can be marked thru video link: IHC CJ


ISLAMABAD  -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has observed that presence of ac­cused can be marked through video link in bail before arrest with prior permission of the court for hearings not meant for final adjudication and in case of initial filing of the appli­cation and final adjudication, pres­ence of the accused/petitioner is a must. Likewise, it said that evidence of the prosecution can be recorded and the presence of the petitioner can be marked through video link but his statement under section 342 Cr.PC can only be recorded by phys­ical presence. 

Besides this, the IHC bench has instructed its registrar to ask the competent authority for fram­ing rules for recording of evi­dence through video conferencing and utilization of modern tech­niques in courts. A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq is­sued the directions in his 14-page detailed verdict on a petition filed by PTI chief Imran Khan.

In his petition, Imran had re­quested the IHC to direct the rele­vant authorities to make arrange­ments for his participation and appearance in all cases within the jurisdiction of the IHC or un­der the administrative arrange­ments of the state anywhere in the country through video-link. Imran stated that the petitioner is facing multiple investigations and crimi­nal cases pending mostly in Islam­abad but also in other parts of the country.

Therefore, he prayed that the re­spondents may kindly be directed to make arrangements for the par­ticipation and appearance of the pe­titioner in all cases within the juris­diction of this court.

While disposing of the petition, Justice Aamer noted that Pakistan’s criminal justice system is in dire need of re-engineering its process­es, optimizing the use of human re­sources and bringing about the changes in the law to utilize infor­mation and communications tech­nology to its maximum.

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