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SCAORA urges Supreme Court to take up part-heard, regular cases only after joint consent from Advocates

The SCAORA has written to the Secretary-General of the Supreme Court stating that part-heard matters may be taken up by Supreme Court only after all parties express willingness to argue via video conferencing.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) has written to the Secretary-General (S-G) of the Supreme Court urging for part-heard and regular matters to be taken up only on Advocates giving joint consent to argue in virtual mode.

The Supreme Court on July 4 notified that from the week commencing Monday, July 13, the Supreme Court may take up part-heard and regular cases for hearing on non-Miscellaneous days, that is, Tuesdays through Thursdays.

The Supreme Court's circular also notified the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) guidelines for virtual hearings that would continue for the time being in light of the critical COVID-19 situation.

The SCAORA, on July 5, made two representations to the S-G of the Supreme Court in light of its circular, one urging the Court to take up part-heard matters only after all Advocates express willingness to argue via video conferencing, and another requesting the Apex Court to provide more facilities for video conferencing within the Supreme Court premises.

In its first representation touching upon listing of part-heard and regular matters, the SCAORA has requested the administration to consider publishing a cause-list of the Supreme Court with part-heard or regular matters after giving notice to that effect to the lawyers two weeks in advance and only if a joint consent is received as such.

"...on receipt of joint consent with regard to willingness for appearing and arguing the matter in Virtual Courts, the matter may be listed in the cause list as described in the schedule of publication vide the SOP dated 04.07.2020."
SCAORA to S-G of Supreme Court

In a separate representation made, also on July 5, the SCAORA has also requested for provision of sufficient facilities for video conferencing in the Supreme Court premises. The letter submitted by SCAORA highlights the several complaints and grievances raised by the members of the Bar as regards connectivity issues and technical glitches during virtual Court hearings.

It is also stated that despite the helpline number being put in place, the grievances were not redressed. As such a request is made for setting up sufficient facilities for video conferencing within the Supreme Court's premises itself to help the members of the Bar.

"We accordingly request you to please set up and kindly ensure that sufficient video conferencing facilities consistent to the cause list, are available at the Supreme Court premises."
SCAORA to S-G of the Supreme Court

SCAORA has additionally, also requested for an extension on the timeframe within which an Advocate may make a request for availing Supreme Court's facilities for appearing via video conferencing.

Read SCAORA's representations:

SCAORA representation - 05.07.2020 - on Joint consent for part-heard or regular cases.pdf
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SCAORA representation - 05.07.2020 - VC facilities in SC.pdf
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