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The Supreme Court has notified the modalities for facilitating hearings for matters of extreme urgency through video conferencing owing to lockdown in Delhi due to COVID-19 outbreak.
Pursuant to the orders passed by the Supreme Court earlier today restricting physical entry inside the Court premises and to hold hearings through video conferencing, the modalities and procedure for the same has now been notified.
In cases of extreme urgency only, the Advocate on Record or the party in person is required to send an urgency application and a synopsis of the matter on the notified email ID latest by 2PM one day ahead of the sitting of the Bench. It will be based on the prayer made in the matter, that the Presiding Judge of the Bench will decide whether the case qualifies as urgent to be heard
"The application must also contain a separate paragraph giving consent that the matter may be taken up through the Video-Conferencing mode," the circular adds.
The platform used for such video conferencing of hearings is "Vidyo" and can be downloaded from the e-courts website.
One day before the Bench is to assemble, a causelist will be published in the evening listing down all the matters that have been approved to be heard owing to their urgency. Should the matter not be listed in the causelist, the AOR has the remedy of making an oral mentioning for the same over the phone at the residence or office of the Presiding Judge between the stipulated time of 10.30AM and 11AM on the day the Bench has assembled.
The proceedings undertaken through video conferencing can be viewed by the members of the Press and Media from the designated room in the Supreme Court and in order to streamline this facility, only three persons from the Press will be permitted to attend the same.
As regards entry of lawyers in the high security zone of the Supreme Court, the ciruclar says,
The President & the Secretary of the SCBA & SCAORA may authorise entry of any Advocate into the High Security Zone, by communication on their letter head, scanned and sent to the Registrar (AG) at email@example.com one day ahead of the requested time of entry, specifying the area of visit within High Security Zone and the purpose thereof;
The Registry must remain open with minimal staff as may be required for facilitating holding of hearing for extremely urgent matters only, the circular says.