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Poor e-Connectivity of Courts: Jammu & Kashmir HC constitutes Committee to audit internet network facilities, bandwidth

Following its impassioned demand for better connectivity of Courts within Jammu and Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has formed a Committee to assess existing facilities and recommend changes where necessary.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

After it took suo motu cognizance over the poor connectivity of Courts on account of prevailing internet speed restrictions in the Union Territory, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has constituted a Committee to "audit" existing communications systems within the Court and suggest changes where necessary (Court on its Own Motion v. Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir)

In the last hearing, the Court had summoned the Home Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, Shaleen Kabra over the issue.

On Thursday, Kabra listed possible reasons for poor connectivity issues being faced by the Court. The reasons cited include:

  • Leaseline and bandwidth issues;

  • Ineffective utilization of software;

  • Sub-optimal distribution of bandwidth amongst different users;

  • Misuse of the available bandwidth.

On Kabra's advice, the Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjay Dhar has now constituted a Committee headed Mr Kabra to assess the issue further. The Committee members will include:

  1. Shaleen Kabra, Home Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir (Chairperson).

  2. Shahzad Azeem, Registrar (IT), J&K High Court.

  3. Abhay Kumar, SIO, NIC, J&K,

  4. Sanjeev Tyagi, Nodal Officer, BSNL, J&K and,

  5. Director, National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), Jammu or an expert he nominates from NIELIT.

The Committee has been directed to meet via video conferencing and table their report before the Chairperson of High Court's IT Committee.

The Court has ordered that the Chairperson's observations, as well as the report, be placed for the Court's consideration when the case is next heard, in the presence of the Committee.

"... it has been impossible today to have even a bare semblance of a hearing. We have struggled to have virtual/or audio connectivity with the amicus curiae and the several counsels appearing before us."
The Court had remarked earlier, in its July 13 order.

The case will be taken up next on Wednesday, July 23, 2020.

Read the Order here:

Court on its Own Motion v. Union Territory of J&K - Interim Order dated July 16, 2020.pdf
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