Notice to avoid mobile phones for virtual courts only an advisory: SC to lawyers, litigants

The Secretary General of the Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified that a notice to avoid using mobile phones for virtual court proceedings was only an advisory and not a blanket bar.

The letter from Secretary General Virender Kumar Bansal was in reply to a representation made by the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAoRA), through its secretary, advocate Joseph Aristotle.

Dr. Aristotle had urged the Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana to ask the Registry to not insist on any particular kind of equipment or connectivity to participate in hearings in the top court.

The Secretary General said the Chief Justice of India has always been alert to the multifarious hardships being faced by the advocate community and that he highlighted these issues in various public fora, urging all concerned to step up to help the needy.

“In his communication addressed to the Minister of Law and Justice as early as on June 8, 2021, the CJI, inter-alia, emphasised on the urgent need to augment the network and connectivity across the country and also on the need to extend financial assistance to the advocates who are struggling to make both ends meet,” Mr. Bansal underscored.

On January 17, the CJI had expressed unhappiness over disruptions during virtual hearings due to the use of mobile phones.

Later that day, the apex court registry, through a circular, had advised advocates and litigants to use a desktop or laptop with a stable Internet connection to join virtual court proceedings uninterruptedly.

“To remove apprehensions in this regard, if any, it is hereby clarified that in case any lawyer does not have desktop/laptop, etc., he/she can attend the proceedings through the mobile phone ensuring that the learned advocate appearing through the mobile phone is properly visible and audible to the Court,” Mr. Bansal clarified in his letter.

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 6:04:44 pm |