The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday suspended the facility of hearing through video conferencing and live streaming of court proceedings after unknown miscreants played pornographic video content in six court halls, reported The Hindu.

The miscreants logged into the court’s Zoom meeting platform, used for live streaming the proceedings, on Monday and played the videos. Following this, lawyers were allowed only limited access to the virtual meeting. They were required to disclose their name and the item number of the case they wished to follow, according to Bar and Bench.

However, on Tuesday, the miscreants attempted to play the videos again, after which, the court administration shut down the online services for the time being.

“An unfortunate situation has arisen,” Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale told the lawyers. “Some mischief is being played and technology is being misused.”

He also requested the advocates, including the State Advocate General, and the litigants not to rush to the registry complaining about the non-availability of the video conference facility.

“This is something unfortunate, the situation is an unprecedented situation,” he said. “Otherwise, Karnataka High Court was always in favour of using technology for the public at large.”

Following the cyber security breach, the Karnataka Police registered a first information report on a complaint by the High Court’s administration. The miscreants were booked under Sections 67 and 67 (A) of the Information Technology Act. The provisions pertain to publishing or transmitting obscene or sexually explicit material in electronic form.

A police official told The Hindu that one of the servers used to log in to the court’s video streaming was based in Bangladesh while another is local. “We have accessed the IP addresses of the systems from where the attacks originated,” they said.

This is the first time that the High Court has suspended the online video conferencing service after introducing it in March 2020 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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