Clients and lawyers waiting in the Delhi High Court
Clients and lawyers waiting in the Delhi High Court
Litigation News

More than 500 advocates write to Chief Justice of Delhi High Court urging him to cease physical hearings

If physical hearings are continued, it is suggested that arrangements be placed to help counsel appear virtually before a physical court.

Aditi Singh

More than 500 advocates have written to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court suggesting that physical hearings be suspended in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

"Commencing physical hearings at this stage, will exacerbate the gravity of the situation and put at peril the health and safety of all stakeholders. Therefore, the physical hearings may be taken up after the situation has improved, once the rate of increase of covid cases has stabilised / plateaued."
the representation reads.

While acknowledging the herculean efforts undertaken by the High Court to ensure the smooth functioning of the judicial system, the advocates state that the resumption of physical hearings is a matter of grave concern and possibly poses a very serious threat to not only those who attend these hearings but also their family members.

The advocates have also pointed out that for counsel representing State/statutory bodies/ corporations etc, it is extremely difficult to attend the physical court and virtual court on the same day.

"..the Wi-Fi signal in and around the court complex is patchy and will not enable seamless and effective assistance being rendered by counsel, even if one were to attempt to do so while standing in the queue", the representation reads.

The advocates also point out that although the SOP mandates a 5-day window for counsel to get their matters deleted from the physical court for virtual hearing, the same is not possible for a fresh matter.

Further, owing to the bulk of case records, at times, the assistance of more than colleague/advocate is imperative, it is said.

In view of the above concerns, the advocates have urged that no physical hearings should be held as of now and that matters should be taken up through virtual hearing.

"However, if physical hearings are to be continued, a system may kindly be considered, where, before listing a matter in physical court, and as a precondition for the same, consent of all parties appearing in the said matter must be obtained", the letter reads.

In case physical hearings are continued, it is also suggested that arrangements be placed to help counsel appear virtually before a physical court.

Read the Representation:

REPRESENTION TO THE HON'BLE CHIEF JUSTICE - HIGH COURT POF DELHI.pdf
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