The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday opined that there is a need to set up proper hybrid hearing systems in district and trial courts across the State, owing to the loss of numerous working days to the first and second waves of COVID-19..A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj said,“Therefore, there is a need to provide a proper hybrid hearing system in district and trial courts. Due to the first and second wave, there have been interruptions in court hearings. Lockdown has given way for arrears of court cases…The entire judicial system has to be in a state of preparedness to face the third wave. All courts in the State including district and trial courts should have proper hybrid VC hearing system in place.”.The Court stated that it is necessary for all courts to subscribe to licensed versions of the Zoom application, which is being used by the High Court for virtual hearings..The Bench was prompted to pass this direction after the Amicus Curiae pointed out the various difficulties faced by district and trial courts while conducting video hearings..A report was earlier called from the Registrar General, who apprised the Bench that the Jitsi application is used by the subordinate courts. However, the said application requires a little more bandwidth. Unless and until litigants and advocates participate in hearings from places with good signal strength, technical glitches are bound to pop up, the Court was told..In order to overcome this issue, the Registry suggested that it necessary for courts to subscribe to the licensed version of Zoom..Further, the Court added that while providing the licensed version of Zoom, priorities will have to be fixed. Priority to be given to all the courts of Principal District Judges, all sessions courts, civil judges, family courts, and commercial courts, the Court said..Keeping this in mind, the Court said,“Therefore, it will be appropriate if the computer committee of the High Court prepares an exhaustive proposal for providing a proper hybrid VC system to all courts in the state along with supplying the licensed version of Zoom.".As the matter drew to a close, the Court averred that since Bengaluru is known was the Silicon Valley of India, the State should have an unparalleled video conferencing system in place..Bengaluru is known as Silicon Valley of India and therefore, the best video conference system should be provided in the State. We are sure that the State government will immediately consider the proposal of High Court so that endeavours can be made to provide best video conference infrastructure to all courts.Karnataka High Court.These directions were passed by the Court in a suo motu PIL registered to address the various legal and technical issues that may arise before the district and trial courts as regards virtual hearings..During the hearing, the Court observed,“In trial courts, some of them have Zoom. There can be uniformity….Because Jitsi is very poor. Provide the paid version of zoom application to all….”.At this point, the Additional Advocate General pitched in to point out that while the Gujarat High Court is using Zoom, the Madras High Court is using using Microsoft Teams for virtual hearings and that the latter was not that user-friendly..As the hearing drew to a close, the Court added that providing a proper system for video conference hearings will go a long way, even if there is no third wave of COVID-19.