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Senior lawyer Harish Salve offers Reliance Jio’s expertise for nationwide fibre optics network

Photo: The Indian Express

Senior lawyer Harish Salve offered Reliance Jio’s expertise to the apex court as Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde called for a dedicated and robust fibre optics network to ensure smooth internet connectivity in virtual courts throughout the country.

Before the Indian government could provide any solution, the company offered its fibre optics network to the court through the 65-year-old lawyer.

“We have the best fibre optics network,” Salve submitted before the CJI-led bench. The court told the senior advocate to ask his client to submit its proposal with the top court’s e-committee in written form.

It must be noted that the e-committee is exploring ways to leverage cutting-edge technology to boost the switch from physical courts to virtual courts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, several measures will become indispensable to the process in the long-run. At present, the top court is using ‘Vidyo’ app for video-conferencing.

Other courts also use modes such as WhatsApp calls, Zoom etc. However, the Indian Supreme Court wants to make it one seamless integrated structure.

Chief Justice said the court was initially thinking of asking the government to set aside a dedicated satellite for better network and connectivity for virtual courts, but was advised that fibre optics is a better alternative for video conferencing and data exchange.

The issue of live-streaming of proceedings also came in during this debate. Attorney General KK Venugopal supported live streaming on similar lines of the Gujarat High Court and Madras HC.

Although the bench was conscious of the pitfalls of such an exercise, a plan was being chalked out in order to prevent any eventuality during any live telecast, the CJI stated.