The Delhi High Court Administrative and General Supervision Committee headed by the Chief Justice D. N. Patel and other Hon’ble Judges has considered the letter received by Delhi High Court Bar Association President, Mohit Mathur, to increase functioning of Court, in the wake of extended lockdown by the Government till May 3 to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (nCOVID-19)
In his letter, Mr Mohit Mathur has suggested to increase the number of Benches which may hear the matter to double figures (i.e. around 10-12 benches), since most of judges are familiar with the VC technology and are comfortable with e-courts working.
He further suggested to ease the mentioning criteria before all courts in Delhi, officially, from “extremely urgent” to simply “urgent”, and mentioning be allowed before Judicial Registrars/Officers who can better appreciate the concerns of lawyers/litigants with the case in hand and leaves less to the whims and face values.
Also, matters which have been pending in the past, may also be listed and assign a room in court complexes, to allow such lawyers to use, who are technologically challenged, and are incapable of handling VC hearings, he said.
Delhi High Court on 17th April, 2020, Administrative Committee led by Hon’ble Chief Justice and other Hon’ble Judges along with Hon’ble Justice Rajiv Shakdher, Chairperson, IT Committee, convened a meeting through video conferencing & resolved as under:
- The no. of Benches is increased from 1 DB to 2 DB and from 2 Single Benches to 4 Single Benches.
- Hearings through VC not restricted to only ‘very urgent matters ‘ but all kinds of ‘urgent matters’. Court will continue hearing ‘urgent matters’ during the lockdown period.
- Directions issued to Dist. courts also on the same lines. However, final decision on the aspect of urgency be taken only by a judicial officer in Dist. Courts.
- Matters mentioned before HC for listing initially to examined by the Registrars/Joint Registrars. If the request is declined on receiving a request for reconsideration through a link already developed by HC the same to be re- examined by J-1 i.e. HMJ Hima Kohli. The aspect of urgency thus to be finally decided by the Court itself.
- Soon, even mentioning before JR will be through a link which is being developed by the IT comm. of DHC, under HMJ Rajiv Shakdhar. Once operative, to be uploaded on HC website.
- Besides fresh urgent matters, pending matter where urgency arises will also be considered on a case to case basis, on merits.
- Two courtrooms i.e. court room no. 20 and 23 situated on the ground floor of the Main Building (A-Block) may be used for video conferencing by those advocates/litigants whose urgent matters have been listed, and who are not in a position to handle VC hearings from their respective homes/offices.
-India Legal Bureau