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

PIL moved before Delhi High Court to protect Attorney-Client privilege during virtual meetings amid COVID-19

The Petitioner has sought a list of certified third-party applications which are safe for conducting privileged communication between lawyers and their clients.

Aditi Singh

A petition has been moved before the Delhi High Court to protect Attorney-Client privilege during virtual meetings amid COVID-19.

The PIL has been preferred by Advocate Akhil Hasija who fears the risk of video conferencing platforms being hacked for the purpose of recording conversations with clients, thus breaching the privacy of the parties.

"..this virtual method is open to cyber hacking of the conversation via cloud services or unauthorized recordings indirectly destroying the sole intent of Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, which protects the privacy and communication between the Attorney and the Client.", the petition states.

It is pointed out that the Bar Council of India Rules' Rule 17 prohibits an attorney from breaching the obligations imposed by Section 126 of Indian Evidence Act, 1982. However, while resorting to meetings or conferencing with clients virtually, advocates always face the risk of an indirect breach of these obligations.

The Petitioner has thus sought a direction for the constitution of an Expert Committee to make appropriate rules to adequately protect and safeguard data privacy during virtual meetings with clients.

The Petitioner has also sought a list of certified third-party applications/ technology which are safe for conducting privileged communications between lawyers and their clients.

The petition has been filed through Advocate Yash Mishra, Founding Partner at Alliance Law Group and Advocate Manyaa Chandok.

The matter is likely to come up for hearing on July 17.

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