Gujarat High Court

Gujarat High Court: In a special civil application, Vaibhavi D. Nanavati, J., gave an ad-interim relief and directed the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Ahmedabad to permit the use of electronic devices such as Laptop, Tablet during the proceedings.

The petitioner’s case was that a notice was posted outside the Court room, prohibiting the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices. Hence, the petitioner sought directions to the NCLT to permit the use of electronic devices such as Mobile Phone, Laptop, Tablet, note-book, etc. for Court hearings/ proceedings before the NCLT, Ahmedabad Bench, in line of the directions issued by the Supreme Court Sarvesh Mathur v. High Court of Punjab & Haryana, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1293.

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that this is the age when both Bar and Bench require to use electronic gadgets and such notice adversely affects the working.

The Court relied on order dated 06-10-2023 passed in Sarvesh (supra) wherein, the Supreme Court said that “technology plays an essential role in securing access to courtrooms and as a result, access to justice for citizens across the country. Lawyers and litigants using electronic gadgets to access files and legal materials cannot be asked to turn the clock back and only refer to paper books. In the march of technology, the Courts cannot remain tech averse. The use of technology by the Bar and the Bench is no longer an option but a necessity. Members of the Bench, the Bar and the litigants must aid each other to create a technologically adept and friendly environment.”

Therefore, the Court issued notice to the NCLT and directed it to modify the notice which absolutely prohibited the use of electronic device in an appropriate manner considering the spirit of the Supreme Court’s order, as to the directions issued from time to time, for the advocates and Courts to be skilful technologically. The Court said that reasonable restrictions can be imposed by the NCLT, which resultantly would not disturb the Court proceedings. Hence, the Court gave an ad-interim relief, and directed the NCLT, Ahmedabad to permit the use of electronic devices such as Laptop, Tablet, Note-book during proceedings, subject to the further orders of the Court.

[Nipun Praveen Singhvi v. National Company Law Tribunal, 2024 SCC OnLine Guj 1201, Order dated- 20-02-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the petitioner: Senior Advocate Percy Kavina and Advocate Vishal J Dave

For the respondent: Advocate Hiral U Mehta

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