Ex President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and Senior Advocate Vikas Singh has written a letter addressed to the Chief Justice S A Bobde suggesting proposing measure to deal with the short term and long term problems being faced by the Supreme Court.
Expressing his concern regarding the problems being faced by the Supreme Court amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Vikas Singh has made suggestions to prevent overcrowding in Courts.
The first suggestion is to amend the Supreme Court Rules to allow compulsory Video Conference hearing for certain type of matters like Bail Petitions, Transfer Petitions, Matrimonial Matters, Service matters involving a single employee whereas PIL matters should be heard before the Registrars.
The modalities of Voluntary Video Conferencing hearing would be to provide in the listing Performa a column for the Advocate on Record as to whether he wants his matter to be heard via Video Conferencing or not. The said matter may go for Video Conferencing mode at the ex parte stage, however, if there is a Caveat, Video Conferencing should be allowed only in the first hearing with the consent of the caveator.
Singh has suggested that until the Supreme Court rules are not amended, the suggestions could be implemented by an administrative order.
In order to decongest the Supreme Court, Singh has suggested the following measures:
- conversion of round annexe building in front of Court No.12 into cubicles with computer terminals affixed having LAN connectivity to the chamber of Hon’ble Judges sitting for Video conferencing. This will allow the lawyers to attend multiple matters at the same time along with the briefing Counsels.
- Moreover the person to person contact in such hearing will be minimal and help in decongesting Courtrooms in the long run
- Conversion of the rest of the annexe building into a library where lawyers can wait while their matters are being called out for Video Conferencing.
- The Courts on a regular basis should also follow the system of the Court rising for at least 15 minutes after finishing half of the matters listed on a miscellaneous day so that lawyers appearing in the second half need not crowd the Court till the matters of the first half are being considered.
Singh in his letter has said that the above measures will help in decongesting the Courts which has been causing inconvenience to the Senior members in the bar as well as the lady advocates practicing in the Court.
-India Legal Bureau