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.