Court Proceedings through Zoom : A Boon or a Bane

Jul 27, 2020

"What should be underlined is that the conventional open court framework, in its physical sign, and new age virtual court framework are not contradictory to one another. Despite what might be expected, the two frameworks could coincide,conveying subjective equity, any place sent considering surviving conditions”.

 The Corona Virus pandemic has forced many people to stay at home, bringing lives of many people to a standstill. It has created havoc on the economy and the health system. This situation has forced many people including the lawyers and judges to work from home. Under the lockdown many courts including the Punjab, Gujarat and Bombay High Courts have taken a step forward to conduct court proceedings through the zoom app.However, it is very unsafe to conduct the court proceedings through zoom app ,as according to the records there has been an increase in the number of users having an access to the court proceedings, like it was recorded that in march about 200 to 300 million people had an access to a court proceeding that was going on. This shows that the data that is shared by the people to have an access to the meeting is also not safe and multiple data and cyber security flaws have been reported on the zoom app. The reports state that the zoom app is not safe for the government officials and the other workers. Security experts have also described zoom as a “privacy disaster” as, according to the reports the company has seen a 535% increase in user traffic.

Home Ministry itself had before given a warning expressing that zoom was "risky and defenseless against digital assaults" for Government workplaces, yet the Ministry additionally prompted the private clients to not utilize the zoom application as it is exceptionally unbound. Numerous nations have made a move against the zoom application. After numerous occurrences, the Taiwanese Government has restricted the utilization of zoom application for authenticity purpose.Singapore has additionally prohibited zoom, and comparative moves were likewise made by the different nations including the USA and Germany.

In this specific circumstance, the choice of Courts to pick a zoom application as a medium for the court procedures is profoundly dangerous regardless of all the security issues. It is prudent that courts ought to quickly end the procedures on the zoom application, and increasingly make sure about stages for the procedures.  Recently, a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court raising security and privacy concerns in relation to the video call app,Zoom, and seeking a ban on the use of the app for official and personal purposes until legislation is passed.

Some of the problems that are faced by the zoom users are that the app without informing the user shares and stores its facebook information and details. A report also shows that the app is prone to hacking and a report recently highlighted the term “zoom-bombers”, which means that the app has an access to the third-party members. Due to the ongoing Corona virus Pandemic there has been an increase in the number of users using zoom app and because of that there has been an increase in the hackers entering the session. There was also a case where once a session was going on, and one of the members started a porn video in between the session. It has also been recorded that the meeting code for the zoom app is not as such a strong password code. It’s a 9-11 digits code which is easily accessible for the third party members or hackers.

Numerous clients are satisfied with the procedure of virtual courts through zoom, as it is progressively advantageous for the clients as they don't need to make a trip to the courts and they don't need to remain in long queues and sit tight for their turn likewise the cases which are pending and have not been addressed by the courts will be currently taken into the notification. The Divorce cases which are pending during this time will likewise be managed effectively at the solace of the homes of the legal advisors, judges, and the observers. The appointed authorities additionally feel that managing the observers through videoconferencing likewise builds the believe ability of the observers as judges would have an eye-to-eye connection with them and there would be no extent of lying.In the instances of the guardianship of a youngster there is a firsthand home appraisal by the appointed authorities as they can plainly observe whether the house is appropriate for the better way of life of the kid and last the telephonic video conferencing will make the guidance to be solid and steady as they would be in direct contact with the adjudicators.

With certain points of interest, there are in every case a few disservices. First, the appointed authorities can't manage the court hearings likewise as it is done in the real courts as far as who is truly present, who is utilizing a mobile phone, who is conversing with whom, who is instructing observers, and so forth , every one of these things would be overlooked. In principle, anybody can stroll into a genuine court to watch a family law hearing, yet actually a great many people won't take the time from work, drive to court, discover stopping, experience security, and soon, except if it is a convincing explanation.

Be that as it may, with more individuals at home, they have additional free time, and if they should simply sit on their PC and secretly sign on to YouTube, there could be numerous prowlers – colleagues, supervisors, neighbors, church parishioners, or kids.While a considerable lot of us battle with the innovation, our educated kids live on YouTube and could without much of a stretch find revolting subtleties of their folks' separation case. Recording of the court procedures should be possible just by the court specialists, yet on account of virtual court meetings the watchers additionally do the chronicles which is transferred on YouTube and other social stages which is totally contrary to the principles. This can be controlled just when the adjudicators keep up some authority over the procedures and put a restriction on accounts, witness altering and utilization of kids when the procedures are going on.

There are numerous other safe and rumored video conferencing applications to lead court procedures. Applications,for example, Microsoft's Teams, Google Meets, Cisco Webex and numerous others can be utilized instead of zoom. While some different applications need an expense or membership for its use. Some progressively believed choices to zoom ought to be utilized. Our Hon'ble courts should consider and ought to be more genuine about digital security issues.