With the national lockdown and spread of the COVID-19 which has led to the disruption of the normal functioning of Courts, the Ld. Registry has provided for E-filing of Petitions and hearing of the same via video-conferencing. However, as the concept of e-filing is relatively new in the Supreme Court, we feel it is appropriate to share our experience of e-filing with everyone for ease of convenience for all the Advocates who will be using the same. As the concept is relatively new, the following pointers are strictly limited to the experience we have had and may vary depending on the nature of the document being filed or other factors. We sincerely hope the information provided helps all the members of the bar.
- The AOR needs to register on the official website of the Supreme Court of India to initiate the process of E-filing. The password that will be created, can be changed or re set in the event the same is forgotten or misplaced. The same is done by a link being shared on the registered email address of the AOR. The AOR can register at https://main.sci.gov.in/efiling-registration
- The maximum size of a PDF that can be uploaded on the website if 5MB. If the entire
Petition can be scanned and made available in 5MB then the Petition can be uploaded
as one PDF. In case your file size is above 5MB the same will have to be compressed.
The common way to compress a PDF file is to google “compress PDF file” and various
websites/online applications for the same are available and effective. However, if due to
the volume of the Petition, it is not feasible to limit it to 5MB, the same can be broken
down into various PDF’s and uploaded under different heads. For instance, at the time of
us filing the Petition, we could not limit the size of the file to 5MB. In view thereof, we had to split our Petition and upload them under different heads which are available in the drop-down option in the New E-filing section on the website.
- We split our Petition and uploaded them under the following head:
a) Front Pages-Cover Page, Listing Proforma (to be signed by the AOR in the end) and Index.
b) Petition+Other Documents-Synopsis and List of Dates (numbering to start from ‘A’): Memo of Parties, Petition. AOR to sign on the last page of the Petition.
c) Annexures-Each Annexure to be scanned and uploaded separately.
d) Applications-Each Application to be scanned separately and uploaded. Last page of the Applications to be signed by the AOR.
e) Filing memo (duly filled) to be scanned and uploaded-To be signed by the AOR.
g) Any other document (For example-in criminal cases, surrender certificate, arrest order, remand order etc.)
An example of the aforementioned breakdown is as follows:
h) It is relevant to note that the aforementioned documents/files can only be uploaded in a PDF format and the maximum size of each of the documents can only be 5MB each. In case your file size is above 5MB the same will have to be compressed. The common way to compress a PDF file is to google “compress PDF file” and various websites/online applications for the same are available and effective.
4. Party names are to be inserted in a separate window and hence proper address, including PIN code etc should be correctly put.
5. Details of the impugned order/circular in cases of Writs to be put in a separate window-Date of the order and number of the order have to be compulsorily put. In case of Writ Petition, impugned order has to be annexed necessarily.
6. Court fee-Not to be paid in case of Criminal matters, however, Rs. 6 for each page has to be paid on e-filing. Total number of pages and the total amount to be paid is provided at the end of e-filing. Payment for the same can be made through the usual online payment modes. For Civil matters, payment for Court fee option is provided.
7. Provisional Application Number-Once the petition is completed and requisite information and payment is made, a Provisional Application number is generated . Pursuant thereto, a Diary Number of the Petition filed is also sent via SMS on the registered mobile number of the AOR.
8. Urgency Application-After filing of the Petition for urgent listing of the matter, procedure provided under the notification dated 23.3.2020 at para 3 is to be followed. Point 3 states the following:
The Hon’ble Bench(es) may be constituted to hear only matters involving extreme urgency, to be decided by the Hon’ble Presiding Judge of such Bench(es) on the basis of prayer made by Advocate-on-Record/party-in- person by way of a signed and verified application containing a synopsis of extreme urgency not exceeding one page, similar to urgency affidavit filed during Court Vacation periods. The said application shall be submitted only by e-mail sent to email@example.com latest by 2:00 pm on the day preceding the day of the sitting of the Hon’ble Bench. The application must inter-alia clearly contain the case-details, contact-details of the AOR/party in- person including e-mail id, mobile number and alternate number(s), camp/office address with Pin Code and Police Station, together with a prayer for exemption from filing duly affirmed affidavit in the prevailing circumstances with an undertaking that deficit court fees will be paid subsequently. The application must also contain a separate paragraph giving consent that the matter may be taken up through the Video-Conferencing mode. In the application, the AOR/Party-in-Person must specify as to whether he would link through own desktop/mobile or would prefer to appear at such facility in the Supreme Court premises”
9. The notifications/guidelines that govern filing and listing of the matters i.e., e-filing and hearing through video conferences are as follows:
a) Notification dated 23.03.2020-https://main.sci.gov.in/pdf/cir/23032020_153213.pdf
b) Notification dated 26.03.2020- https://main.sci.gov.in/pdf/cir/26032020_134544.pdf
c) SOP for video conferencing- https://main.sci.gov.in/pdf/LU/23032020_153530.pdf
d)The official instructions/guidelines for e-filing- https://main.sci.gov.in/efiling