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The PIL sought the constitution of an Expert Committee to make rules to protect attorney-client privilege during virtual meetings.
The Delhi High Court today directed the Bar Council of India (BCI) to consider as a representation a petition, which sought the constitution of an Expert Committee to make rules to protect attorney-client privilege during virtual meetings. (Akhil Hasija vs BCI)
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan ordered the Bar Council of India and other authorities concerned to decide the representation in accordance with law and policy and as soon as possible and practical.
The PIL was preferred by Advocate Akhil Hasija who feared the risk of video conferencing platforms being hacked for the purpose of recording conversations with clients, thus breaching the privacy of the parties.
Appearing for Hasija, Advocate Yash Mishra informed the Court that due to COVID-19, all the meetings with clients were now virtual through several video coneferncing apps. However, it was not clear as to which platform was recommended to safeguard data privacy.
He brought the Court's attention to Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1982 which mandates an advocate to not disclose privileged communications with clients.
After hearing the counsel, the Court remarked that the PIL had been preferred without first making a representation to the authorities.
The Court thus disposed of the PIL with a direction to the Bar Council of India and other authorities concerned to treat it as a representation.