Electronic Filing Procedure made compulsory by Delhi High Court vide e-Filing Rules of the High Court of Delhi, 2021

On 22nd February, 2022, Delhi High Court notified “e-Filing Rules of the High Court of Delhi, 2021”. These rules will be applicable on High Court of Delhi and the District Courts and Tribunals.

Compulsory Procedure adopted by High Court of Delhi- Delhi High Court announced on 17th January, 2022 to make electronic filing compulsory and then these rules were adopted with the motive to reduce physical appearances in the Courts due to Covid and will continue to be applicable even after physical filing is resumed.

Rules made under Section 7 of Delhi High Court Act, directs the practice and procedure adopted by the parties to approach the Court. An electronic filing method has been introduced by which the parties will be brought in, heard, dealt with and other matters will be disposed.

These Rules will apply to on-line e-filing and e-filing via Designated Counters and facilities provided for e-filing through e-Sewa Kendras.

   Key features

Registration and Application on Delhi High Courts Web Portal-

  • The advocates and litigating parties [other than those already registered on web portal] are required to follow the procedure of registration.
  • With the inputs such as I-Card from Bar Council or Bar Council Registration Certificate and other pre-requisites, they are entitled to login into the portal.
  • The application is then cross verified by Registrar (IT) or Administrator for the purpose to detect the engagement by the Advocate in Action.
  • As regards the District Court, as and when the application is made available, the relevant procedure to be followed will be notified by the Administrator.

 

Procedure for e-filing-

  • Format has been provided in the Rules by which the Pleadings are to be framed.
  • The applicant is required to submit the original documents of the pleadings in text and scanned copies in the given manner. These documents are converted into digital form then enclosed with the Action (as defined in, sub-rule 2.1). Via Digital signature the documents will be signed.
  • Payment of Court Fees has to be paid in the electronic form which avails a Transaction Id to applicant which when required in submitted at the time of on-line e-filing.

Exemptions to e-filing

Exemption from e-filing of the whole or part of the pleadings and/or documents may be permitted by the Bench upon an application or by issuance of order by Chief Justice, in the following circumstances-

  1. e-filing is, for the reasons to be explained in the application, not feasible
  2. there are concerns about confidentiality and protection of privacy
  3. the document cannot be scanned or filed electronically because of its size, shape or condition
  4. the e-filing system is either inaccessible or not available for some reason
  5. or, any other sufficient cause.

Time and Service of documents

The documentation of notice of motion, memorandum of parties, main petition or appeal etc will be published on Web Portal and enable the recipients to edit and verify the documents.

E-filing process does not over rule the time period limitation set under Section 5 of Limitation Act, 1963 or other provisions that govern the extension of period of time.

Hard copy filing in the e-filing system

The applicant from the filing stage of the application, is allowed to retain the hard copy of all the original documents that he has produced in the court and all other copies of the pleadings. Free of cost access has been made available to the authorised person(s) for obtaining certified copies of those documents.

Other Miscellaneous Provisions

  • An Advocate or litigating parties are bound to follow the protocols of the Rules in the failure which their applications will stand rejected.
  • It will be obligatory on the part of opposite party to accept pleadings and documents by e-mail. They may seek support from Registry for assistance/advice.
  • Rules also include Appendices explaining the actual conduct of practice and procedures on the Web Portal of Delhi High Court. Each stage of application is elaborated in the screenshots.

 


*Shubhi Srivastava, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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