Case Law Details

Case Name : In Re Guidelines For Court Functioning Through Video Conferencing (Supreme Court)
Appeal Number : SMW (C) No(s). 5/2020 and IA No. 48252/2020
Date of Judgement/Order : 26/10/2020
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : Supreme Court of India (1293)

In Re Guidelines For Court Functioning Through Video Conferencing (Supreme Court)

The Video Conferencing in every High Court and within the jurisdiction of every High Court shall be conducted according to the Rules for that purpose framed by that High Court. The Rules will govern Video Conferencing in the High Court and in the district courts and shall cover appellate proceedings as well as trials.

We are given to understand that several High Courts have framed their rules already. Those High Courts that have not framed such Rules shall do so having regard to the circumstances prevailing in the State.  Till such Rules are framed, the High Courts may adopt the model Video Conferencing Rules provided by the E-Committee, Supreme Court of India to all the Chief Justices of the High Court.

FULL TEXT OF THE SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT

Application for intervention is allowed.

Heard Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General for India, Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General of India, Mr. Vikas Mehta, learned senior counsel and Mr. Harish Salve, learned senior counsel.

By our order dated 06.04.2020, we had issued certain directions in furtherance of the commitment to the delivery of justice. Those directions were intended primarily to cover the measures which this Court had to adopt to meet the challenge posed by the COVID Pandemic. There has been a change in the situation since April, 2020. In many States, the situation has eased and it has been possible to even commence hearings in congregation. We must say that the system of Video Conferencing has been extremely successful in providing access to justice.

Be that as it may, we find that the directions issued earlier need not be altered except as follows :-

We propose to substitute sub-para (vii) of Paragraph 6 with the following :

The Video Conferencing in every High Court and within the jurisdiction of every High Court shall be conducted according to the Rules for that purpose framed by that High Court. The Rules will govern Video Conferencing in the High Court and in the district courts and shall cover appellate proceedings as well as trials.

We are given to understand that several High Courts have framed their rules already. Those High Courts that have not framed such Rules shall do so having regard to the circumstances prevailing in the State.  Till such Rules are framed, the High Courts may adopt the model Video Conferencing Rules provided by the E-Committee, Supreme Court of India to all the Chief Justices of the High Court.

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