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Chairman, BCD writes to Delhi HC Chief Justice to facilitate hearing as per protocol laid down by SC for COVID-19 lockdown period

Aditi Singh

The Bar Council of Delhi Chairman, KC Mittal has written to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice DN Patel for designation of more judicial officers in the district courts in order to facilitate hearing of matters as per the protocol set out by the Supreme Court on April 6.

In its letter, BCD Chairman has also urged the Chief Justice to hold Benches in the High court for hearing matters while restricting entry to only the advocate on record.

The letter states that the total lockdown was essential in the present situation and the decision to conduct the hearing in urgent matters through video conferencing was correct.

It, however, adds,

At the same time the closure of courts has resulted in extreme hardships to a majority of lawyers who have struggled to survive. No less strugglesome has been the plight of under trials and other needy citizens whose cases, despite urgency, could not be taken up, in the wake of the above referred extra ordinary circumstances.”

Mittal thus draws the Chief Justice’s attention to the Supreme Court’s order passed on April 6 on conducting hearings through video-conferencing.

This order, Mittal claims, paves the way for relaxing the present protocol of extremely urgent hearing and seeks to accommodate other categories of urgent hearings as well.

Hon'ble Supreme Court vide order dated 06.04.2020.has passed certain directions to conduct hearings through videoconferencing, which pave way for relaxing the present protocol of extremely urgent hearing and accommodating other categories of urgent hearings and also consider to introduce a mechanism so that some matters of great importance and causing great prejudice to people can be taken up by strictly observing the preventive measures.
KC Mittal

In view of the above, Mittal has urged,

“If possible some benches can be held in the High court, restricting entry by permitting only the advocate on record.

We respectfully urges you honour to allocate more judicial officers in the District Courts to facilitate hearing of other categories of urgent matters as well, under the protocol set out in the above order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

The above steps, Mittal has written, would subserve the wider interest of all stakeholders of the justice delivery system and would also provide succour to the lawyers and litigants, in particular.

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