COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

It is found that taking undue advantage of the previous Notice, by which parties’ Advocates were permitted to indicate the date of listing without mentioning for circulation, a large number of matters in which there is no urgency are being listed.

Advocates and parties are put to notice that if any such matters that are not immediately urgent are circulated, either heavy costs will be imposed or matters may be adjourned to a long date.

Parties and Advocates must understand that the purpose of limiting the functioning hours of the Court is because there is less staff available and also to reduce crowding. By listing non-urgent matters, endlessly increase the pressure on the Court Staff and the Court departments.


Bombay High Court

Notice dt. 14-1-2022

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Punjab and Haryana High Court orders that:

  • Hearing of cases to be held in Virtual Mode/Video Conferencing Mode only, w.e.f.5-1-2022
  • The present system of filing, listing and mentioning of cases will continue as such.
  • The decision to list freshly registered ordinary cases in the month of January passed vide Order No. 119/RG/Spl./Misc. dated 23-12-2021 will be kept in abeyance.

Punjab and Haryana High Court

[Order dt. 3-1-2022]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Bombay High Court issues the following Standard Operating Procedure for hearing the matters through Virtual mode at the Principal Seat, Bombay High Court with effect from 4th January 2022 till 28th January 2022:

1) The hearing of the matters in all Courts will be through Video Conferencing only.

2) Mentioning for circulation of the matter shall be allowed through virtual mode in extremely urgent cases only with permission of the concerned Bench. It is left to each individual Bench to settle it’s board considering the priority in hearing to be given to any particular matter.

3) The Advocates shall seek circulation of their matters only by fling Praecipe through e-mail on the designated e-mail ID of the concerned Court, given herein below.

4) In case of fresh matter, the Advocate shall first file the matter, get stamp/lodging number and then move the Praecipe by mentioning said stamp/lodging number on it and setting out the urgency.

5) Filing of fresh matters will be allowed through e-fling only. However, the option of fling of fresh matters physically is permitted till 7th January 2022. The Advocates shall file fresh matters through e-fling by visiting efiling.ecourts.go.in portal.

6) E-fling of fresh matters will be allowed for all types of matters.

7) The fling of matters through e-fling is illustrated in the SOP dated 22.12.2021. The Advocates shall follow the instructions as given in the SOP for e-fling dated 22.12.2021.

8) The Advocates should NOT file their matter through e-mail on the designated e-mail address. Such fling through e-mail will not be taken cognizance of.

9) Filing of Testamentary matters physically will however be allowed notwithstanding clause 5 and 6 above.

10) No Praecipe without mentioning number of the matter will be entertained.

11) The Advocates shall also serve the Praecipe on the other side in advance.

12) All Praecipes should be sent 48 hours (excluding holidays) in advance before proposed listing of the matter. Praecipes received after stipulated time will not be responded to or will not be placed before the Hon’ble Judge. If, the matter is not listed, it is deemed that the Bench has declined circulation of the matter.

13) In the Praecipe itself, Advocates shall mention names of maximum three persons with their email ids who would attend the hearing through virtual mode. Similarly, respondents/defendants seeking to enter appearance shall intimate email ids of maximum three persons who would attend the hearing. Please note that only those persons whose emai-Ids are intimated to the Registry would be allowed to attend the hearing through virtual mode.

14) Advocates shall mention their Bar Council enrolment/registration number and Phone number and email-ID in the Praecipe

Read all the pointers here: NOTIFICATION


Bombay High Court

[Notification dt. 4-1-2022]

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

In view of the wide-spreading resurge of COVID-19 (Omicron variant) and consequent restrictions imposed by the various governments decided as under:

  • the cases listed before the Benches of the National Commission from 4-01-2022 onwards till 21-3-2022, shall be heard through Virtual Court Hearing mode (video conferencing) only;
  • Members of the National Commission shall conduct the Virtual Court Hearings (video conferencing) of the cases from the premises of the National Commission.
  • Counsel/parties shall be provided with the online link to appear in their matters.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission 

[Order dt. 3-1-2022]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

On account of the recent spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases at Prayagraj & Lucknow, from January 03, 2022, onwards, Hon’ble Courts at the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad & its Bench at Lucknow, shall function in virtual mode only, till further orders.

All concerned are requested to make themselves aware of the detailed advisories/guidelines, made available on the official website of the Court, separately.


Allahabad High Court

[Notice dt. 2-1-2022]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

In view of the threat of the imminent third wave of the Covid pandemic and also the alarming rise in the number of Covid affected cases, the Court shall function with effect from 03-01-2022 in the following manner until further directions:

  • The Court proceedings shall be through virtual mode only. Hybrid mode is allowed only in respect of bail matters where public prosecutors will be allowed to be physically present with case diary and in other matters where Government and other Advocates are to produce or tender documents in court. Trial of suits by witness examination shall be suspended. Other proceedings in suits to continue.
  • Staff attendance shall not be more than 66 & 2/3 percent with rotational transferable duty. Non-essential departments may be suspended and their staff shall be utilised in essential departments.
  • The same system shall be followed in the District Courts as far as applicable and practicable.
  • The same system shall be followed in the Circuit Benches subject to adaptation by the Senior most Hon’ble Judge in Circuit.
  • The concerned stakeholders including Court-staff shall get themselves fully vaccinated and shall strictly adhere to the norms of social-distancing and Covid-19 protocols, guidelines, directions etc. issued by the Government of India, the State Government, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and this Hon’ble Court from time to time.

Calcutta High Court

[Notice dt. 1-1-2022]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A three-Judge Bench of L. Nageswara Rao, B.R. Gavai and B.V. Nagarathna, JJ. is considering a writ petition seeking to declare that the right to access to virtual courts through video conferencing is a facet of fundamental rights. The Court has issued notice to various parties including the Bar Council of India, the Supreme Court Bar Association and several High Courts.

A writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India has been filed by the All India Association of Jurists and another. The All India Association of Jurists is an association of more than 5000 lawyers practicing in different States of the country, including various High Courts and the Supreme Court. The petitioner claims to seek intervention of the Supreme Court “to effectuate the right of access to justice, and the freedom of practicing the noble profession of law irrespective of geographical location“.

The petition lays challenge to an order dated 16-8-2021 passed by the Registrar General of the Uttaranchal High Court through which access to virtual courts has been proscribed by directing that no such request shall be entertained. The petition further states that a copy of the said letter has been forwarded to the Registrar Generals of all the High Courts, with an anticipation of issuance of similar such orders by other High Courts of the country.  The petitioner claims that the impugned order of the Uttaranchal High Court is “death knell” for the very idea of virtual courts, an accessible, affordable justice in the country being propagated by the E-Committee of the Supreme Court.

The petition also seeks to raise the issue that large number of advocates of the petitioner Association as also those across the country are compelled to appear physically before many courts of the respective High Courts, in view of commencement of physical hearing in the High Courts.

In such circumstances, the petition is filed seeking an appropriate writ, order or direction for:

(i) Declaring that the right to access to virtual courts through video conferencing for attending and participating in the conduct of any case proceeding is facet of fundamental right guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India;

(ii) Quashing the impugned order dated 16-8-2021 issued by the Registrar General of the Uttaranchal High Court prohibiting access to virtual courts through video conferencing;

(iii) Ensuring that lawyers and counsels are not denied in any manner the benefit of attending any category/class of proceedings being conducted before High Courts, only on the ground that they have opted for virtual court hearing instead of physical mode of hearing.

By the instant order, the Supreme Court allowed the petitioner’s request to implead the Bar Council of India and the Supreme Court Bar Association as and among respondents. A notice has been issued returnable on 4-10-2021. [All India Association of Jurists v. Uttaranchal High Court, WP (C) No. 941 of 2021, dated 6-9-2021]


Tejaswi Pandit, Senior Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner (s): Siddarth Luthra, Sr. Advocate

Siddarth R Gupta, Advocate

Sriram P., AOR

Shubhangi Jain, Advocate

Prerna Robin, Advocate

For the Respondent (s): Pradeep Kumar Yadav, Advocate

Abhay Singh Yadav, Advocate

Sanjeev Malhotra, AOR

Mukesh K. Giri, Advocate

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

For effective containment of the rapid spread of Covid-19, the State Government has issued an order dated 18.04.2021 and prohibited various activities from 19.04.2021 to 03.05.2021 including closure of work places, commercial establishments and markets.

In view of the above-stated order and considering the extreme grave situation, in supersession of all previous directions, the following directions are issued for the functioning of Rajasthan High Court at Jodhpur and Jaipur Bench from 19-04-2021 to 03-05-2021:

1. Rajasthan High Court Jodhpur and Jaipur Bench shall function only through video conferencing for urgent matters instituted in the year 2021 with the exception that any other matter may be taken up with the permission of Court.

2. Such a number of Division and Single Benches at Jodhpur and Jaipur Bench shall be constituted as directed by the Chief Justice for hearing of the urgent matters.

3. Morning court timings as per this office Notification No. 02/E.Y./2021 dated 01.03.2021 shall be observed for hearing of cases.

4. Filing of fresh urgent matters shall be made through E-filing on E-filing portal as per Notification dated 08.04.2020 available on the website of Rajasthan High court with the condition to submit the hard-copy file within 7 days of resuming regular functioning.

5. Filing may also be made through following dedicated email addresses and on WhatsApp numbers with the condition to submit hard-copy file within 7 days of resuming regular functioning.

6. Filing through email or WhatsApp shall be entertained only when scanned PDF copy of the application/petition/appeal is submitted. Leamed Advocates must ensure that filing is made only through one mode.

To read further directions, please click on the link below:

NOTIFICATION


Rajasthan High Court

[Notification dt. 19-04-2021]

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Virtual Hearing

Jammu and Kashmir High Court extend its Order dated 5-04-2021 with regard to the virtual mode of hearing due to the sudden surge of COVID-19 Cases in the Country in general and UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in particular.

Link to the NOTIFICATION.


Jammu and Kashmir High Court

[Notification dt. 16-04-2021]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Due to the alarming upsurge in the Covid-19 cases in the NCT of Delhi, all Benches of Delhi High Court shall, with effect from 19-04-2021, take up extremely urgent matters filed in the year 2021 only.

It has been further ordered that the other pending routine/non-urgent matters and the matters filed/listed before this Court between 22-3-2020 and 31-12-2020 shall not be taken up by this Court and such matters shall be adjourned “en bloc” as per the dates already notified. In case of any extreme urgency, the request in the pending matters may be made on the already notified designated link.

Link for the NOTIFICATION


In view of the alarming rise in the Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, all the Courts of Registrar and Joint Registrar (Judicial) shall take up only urgent cases through videoconferencing mode and all other matters be adjourned en bloc and information in this regard be uploaded on the website of this Court.

Link to the NOTIFICATION


All the Judicial Officers of the District Courts in Delhi shall take up only urgent cases of their respective Courts, through videoconferencing mode. It is further ordered that all other matters listed before Delhi District Courts be adjourned en bloc by respective courts and information in this regard be uploaded on the website(s) of Delhi District Courts.

Link to the NOTIFICATION



Delhi High Court

[Notifications dt. 19-04-2021]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

COVID-19 Upsurge | Madras High Court

Even though the situation in Tamil Nadu may be better than other places in the country, so as to ensure that immediate preventive measures are taken to arrest the further spread of the pandemic, the State Government has requested the High Court of Madras to take appropriate immediate measures so that the footfall in the court buildings is reduced considerably.

Therefore, it is notified that,

1. In the High Court, hearing of cases shall be only on virtual mode to the extent possible, except the appearance of the Government Lawyers in respect of bail and other urgent motions.

2. All Lawyers’ Chambers shall remain closed from 17-04-2021 (Saturday) until further orders.

3. The Libraries in all the Bar Associations shall remain closed until further orders.

4. The above restrictions will apply to the Madurai Bench as well.

5. The above arrangements will continue till 23-04-2021 (Friday). The situation will be reviewed on 22-04-2021 for further directions.

6. This notification supersedes the Notification No.23991-C/2020/C3, dated 18.03.2021; Notification No.75/2021, dated 07.04.2021; and all other earlier notifications on the above subject.


Madras High Court

[Notification dt. 15-04-2021]

Telangana High Court
COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Telangana High Court while considering the upsurge in COVID-19 cases has decided to conduct the hearing of cases by all the Benches virtually with immediate effect, instead of continuing the present practice of physical as well as virtual hearing of the cases in the High Court on a rotation basis by the Division Benches and Single Benches.


Telangana High Court

[Notification dt. 15-04-2021]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Complete Virtual Hearing

Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court in addition to S.O.P dated 11-02-2021 and an additional S.O.P. dated 03-04-2021, further issued the following directions:

  • Cases listed from 08-04-2021 to 24-04-2021 shall be heard only through Virtual Hearing at Principal Seat Jabalpur and Benches at Indore and Gwalior and no physical hearing to be conducted.
  • No case files shall be accepted Physically through filing counters. In addition to e-filing, facility of category-wise Drop Boxes has been provided.
  • Advocates/Litigants requested to file Mention Memos only by assigning specific, correct and detailed reasons in only those cases, which involve extreme genuine urgency. Henceforth, only such Mention Memos shall be entertained which mention the reasons for pressing urgency.
  • Mention Memos to be dropped in the Drop Boxes and the e-mentioning via ‘Jitsi Video Conferencing Platform’ shall also be available.

Read the detailed notice here: LINK


Madhya Pradesh High Court

[Notice dt. 07-04-2021]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

In view of the alarming rise in the COVID-19 cases in the NCT of Delhi, the High Court of Delhi shall with effect from 09-04-2021 take up matters as per the existing arrangement with regard to the listing of cases, through virtual mode only, till 23-04-2021.

All Courts of Joint Registrar (Judicial) shall also with effect from 09-04-2021 hold Courts through virtual mode only till 23-04-2021.

No adverse orders shall be passed by the courts of Joint Registrar (Judicial) in case of non-appearance of parties and/or their counsel and the matters which are fixed for recording of evidence before the said courts, shall be adjourned.

Link to the NOTICE.


Delhi High Court 

[Notice dt. 08-04-2021]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Calcutta High Court in light of the COVID-19 Surge has notified that all matters shall be taken up only on virtual mode only and from Monday, 12th April 2021 i.e. today. Only such Lawyers who do not have video accessibility shall attend the Court physically.

The above Order has been issued under the directions of the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.

Link to the Notice.


Calcutta High Court

[Notification dt. 11-04-2021]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

In view of the COVID-19 Surge, a Committee for the Purpose of Taking Preventive and Remedial Measures and for Combating the impending threat of COVID-19 vide a resolution dated 07-04-2021:

  • From 12-04-2021, High Court at its judicial side will function by way of hearing through virtual mode only.
  • Initially, 25 Courts will be made functional for hearing through virtual mode. Number of Courts for virtual hearing may increase or decrease as per the existing workload.
  • Case files if required by the Court will be placed even during the virtual mode.
  • Advocates, Litigants-in persons and Clerks will not be allowed in the High Court premises.
  • Filings of cases will be through e-mode and physical form.
  • Staff will be deputed in the front office on rotational basis.
  • 24 x 7 Helpline will be made functional for assisting the advocates with respect to filing, listing and other information related to a case.
  • BSNL to ensure that speed-related issue is resolved so that no obstruction during the virtual hearing is caused.
  • The above-said arrangement will be effective from 12-04-2021.

Link to the notification: NOTICE


Allahabad High Court

[Notice dt. 07-04-2021]

National Company Law Tribunal
Hot Off The PressNews

It has been notified vide an Order dated 23-02-2021 that all NCLT Benches shall start regular Physical hearing w.e.f 01-03-2021, in case any counsel/ representative of party expresses difficulty in physical hearing, he/ she may be permitted for virtual hearing.

However, there are a few Benches that shall remain attending the matters through video conference. The list can be seen by clicking on the below link:

List


National Company Law Tribunal

[Order dt. 23-02-2021]

Hot Off The PressNews

The Supreme Court of India has cautioned all the Advocates-on-Record, parties-in-person and all other concerned against unauthorised sharing of link/screen of Video-Conference/Tele-Conference hearings without permission of the Court. The Circular dated 06.11.2020 states that if the directions of the Court are flouted then it may invite “adverse consequences”.

“The Advocates/parties-in-person appearing in violation of above mentioned Standard Operating Procedure shall not be allowed to address the Hon’ble Court, rather their audio and video access will be prohibited.”

In the Standard Operating Procedure dated 4th July, 2020, it was specifically provided that only two appearance links and one viewing link shall be provided to each litigating party. Sharing of screen is also prohibited unless permitted by the Court.

The Circular highlights that despite the SOP being in place, the Advocates-on-Records are sharing the links, provided to them for video conferencing, with more than two advocates to appear before the Court during the course of proceeding. It, further, states,

“… Advocates are addressing the Court in the matters not listed for hearing on that day. Such sharing of Video-Conferencing links or sharing of screen, being violative of the above mentioned Standard Operating Procedure, is unauthorised, and creates hindrance in the proceedings of the Court.”

Read the Circular here

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Whereas a staff member was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 on 26th June 2020, which mandated further sanitization and sealing of the premises of this Appellate Tribunal and suspension of work till 3rd July 2020; and

Whereas the Hon’ble Acting Chairperson, Hon’ble Members, Officers of the Registry and the staff of this Appellate Tribunal coming in contact with the affected official, directly or otherwise, were subjected to Covid-19 test after collection of their nasal swabs by a team of Doctors from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on 29th and 30th June, 2020; and

Whereas one of them tested positive; and

Whereas some members of the Staff have come in direct contact with the affected person warranting following of the mandatory norms in terms of the Guidelines issued by the Government, for ensuring personal safety of all concerned and to prevent any peril or hazard to human life it has been decided to extend the suspension of Court work to enable all concerned to observe home quarantine.

It is accordingly notified that the Court work (Virtual hearing) and filing etc. in the NCLAT will remain suspended till 10th July, 2020.


National Company Law Appellate Tribunal

[Notice dt. 02-07-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Due to Covid-19 Pandemic and as ordered by the Hon’ble Acting Chairperson, the Court work (Virtual hearing) and filing etc. in the NCLAT will remain suspended till 3rd July, 2020.

NOTICE


National Company Appellate Tribunal

[Notice dt. 26-06-2020]