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Harish Salve suggests Reliance Jio fibre optic technology for Supreme Court

During yesterday’s hearing on the system of virtual hearings to be adopted by courts, Senior Advocate Harish Salve, suggested the use of the his client Reliance Jio’s optical fibre technology to the Supreme Court.

Salve informed a Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao that the company has the best optical fibre technology in the market.

Pondering over the technological infrastructure needed to conduct virtual hearings, CJI Bobde initially commented that the Court would need satellite technology, but later said that it needs access to optical fibre network. He observed,

“We want the Centre to give us access to fibre optic networks which have been laid. Initially we thought you can give us a satellite and we could share the satellite space. But we were advised it was not a good idea. Fibre optic network is better for videoconferencing and exchange of data.”

The Court also observed that since fibre optic networks have not been laid in the North-East, satellite technology can help in those regions.

“This network will help the High Court and the trial courts. This will help e-filing of appeals from trial courts to high courts. This network needs to be made to the judiciary.”

Attorney General KK Venugopal then requested that a meeting be convened between the Union Law Ministry and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to discuss the fibre optic network feasibility. CJI Bobde replied,

“Please arrange the meeting and we will only hear you. Justice Chandrachud is in touch with NIC. But you have to make a binding statement before us.”

It was at this juncture that Salve stated that his client Reliance Jio has laid down the fastest fibre optic network in the country.

CJI Bobde has now asked Salve to represent his offer before the Supreme Court e-Committee headed by Justice Chandrachud.

Digital Fibre Infrastructure Trust holds Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s fiber-optic assets.

Reliance Industries (RIL) plans to raise nearly Rs 40,000 crore by monetising its fibre optic network assets via an infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) structure.

Digital Fibre Infrastructure Trust (DFIT), which owns 51% of an InVIT in which RIL owns 48.44%, will raise roughly Rs 14,700 crore via a private placement, according to a prospectus filed with the Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi). Bar & Bench

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