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In order to avoid glitches while logging-in at the time of a virtual hearing, the Delhi High Court has asked advocates to close meeting windows which they might have opened before the hearing. (Jasdan Energy vs Inox Wind)
This would ensure that Advocates are not locked out and are able to join the hearing when it starts, the Court has said.
The direction has come in an order passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh.
Earlier this month, a petition under Section 29A of the Arbitration Act, 1996 was disposed of by the Court.
After the hearing got over, the court master received a call from the counsel of the Respondents, stating that they could not join the meeting due to a technical glitch.
They requested the Court Master to add their appearance; however, due to some miscommunication, their appearance was not added and the order was uploaded.
The counsel then sent a communication to the Registrar General, explaining the difficulty that they faced in logging into the meeting.
The Court, thereafter, sought a report from the IT Department in view of the technical glitch alleged to have been faced by the Counsel.
As per the report given by the IT Department, the issue was the counsel concerned had tried to join the meeting before the scheduled time.
It was stated that if a participant tries to join the meeting before the scheduled time, he would get an error message and the same is then saved in cache memory of the system.
The IT Department said that after the meeting starts, the user should close the old tab and again join the meeting in other to avoid any glitch.
If the old tab is not closed and an attempt is made to join the meeting from a new tab, the error message asking the user to leave the previous meeting would continue showing, it was added.
The IT Department thus advised that the lawyers should wait for a call from the court staff to join the meeting or keep a tab on the display board.
After perusing the IT Department's report and the communication addressed by the counsel to the Registrar General, the Court noted,
"(It) shows that a common difficulty faced by lawyers is that they receive intimation that there is already a live meeting window, and that they cannot join the new meeting until they leave the previous meeting..Thus, the advice of the IT Department extracted above be followed. It is advisable that counsels ought not to keep the old window open or live, and close the same before logging in again."
It accordingly ordered,
As far the present case was concerned, the Court observed that recording of appearance of lawyers was quite crucial, especially during the lockdown period when so much effort is being made by lawyers to attend to their work, coordinate with the client, do filings and also attend hearings.
It directed that the appearance of the Respondent’s counsel be added to the last order and the corrected order be uploaded as a corrigendum.
The Respondents were represented by Advocates Sudhir Kumar, Pulkit Srivastava, Sumit Gaur, Ashna Abrol.
The Petitioner was represented by Advocates Shyel Trehhan, Kshitij Dua.
Read the Order: