Friday, September 22, 2023

Bombay HC issues guidelines for video conference hearing

Want create site? Find Free WordPress Themes and plugins.

The High Court of Bombay on Wednesday issued a standard operating procedures for hearing exclusively through video conferencing in order to reduce the physical presence of lawyers, litigants and court staff due to outbreak of COVID-19.

As per the guidelines, the Judges nominated by the Chief Justice will take up mentioning of urgent matters through Video Conferencing between 12 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. on notified Court working days and the procedure was highlighted in the notification for Advocates who wish to mention an urgent fresh matter beforethe VC Court shall pay the requisite Court Fees online using the Government Receipt Accounting System (GRAS) available at under the Scheme Code00700028801.

“Advocate(s) shall email their praecipes to the email Idsmentioned against the category of the matters ALONG WITH aduly signed soft copy only in PDF of the matter and anundertaking that the Advocate will submit a hard copy of theproceedings with the Registry immediately after the lockdownperiod. The application/petition/pleading should be in onevolume of reasonable size (without images). Annexures are tobe in additional volumes and care should be taken to ensurethat the additional volume digital files are not so large as cannotbe transmitted efficiently. There must also be a scan or the PDFof the GRAS Challan”, mentioned in the guidelines.

It is further informed that for pending matters, Advocates will send their praecipes tothe email Ids mentioned against the category of the matters along with a soft copy only in PDF of the matter.

Strictly mentioned in Bold that Praecipes will not be taken up unless accompanied by GRAS Challan, the written undertaking, Vakalatnama for fresh matters and all Annexures. So also, unsigned/blankpetitions/applications will not be taken into consideration.

Later on, the Permanent registration numbers will be given only after hardcopy is submitted as per the Rules, once normal court workingis restored and for the present, the e-filed case will receive astrictly temporary and ad hoc identification number, also Advocates will mention their Bar Council enrolment/registration number and Phone Number in the praecipe and shall also attach a soft copy of their Photo ID. Thereafter, it is informed that all praecipes should be sent before 11 a.m. on working days atleast one day in advance. Praecipes received after the stipulated time will not be responded to or placed before the Judge and Praecipes sent to email Ids other than the one mentioned against the category of the matters will not be considered.

After approval of the Judge the Registry will communicate the date and time slot for hearing through Video Conferencing and shall share the Meeting ID and Password ofthe Video Conference Room with the Advocates concerned. It was notified in the guidelines that Meeting ID and Password will be used only for videoconference of that particular case at the allotted time and theAdvocates concerned will ensure that the Meeting ID andPassword are not shared/forwarded EXCEPT for notice to the opposite party’s Advocate and the applicant’s Advocate is requiredto give notice of the listing, serve a soft copy of the application and share the Meeting ID and Password provided with Respondent/s.

Pre-requisites for joining Video Conferencing meeting was stated in the guidelines which are mentioned below: –

  1. Internet connection of 2 Mbps from any service provider (Broadband/FTTH/4G etc).
  2. Laptop/Desktop with camera working in Windows (recommended) or suitable Smart Phone.
  3. The laptop or phone used should ideally be identifiable by the name of the Advocate joining the meeting.
  4. Wired Earphone/Headphones with good qualityMicrophone.

Advocates are required to download a software ZOOM on their Computer/Laptop or Smartphone which can be downloaded from Google PlayStore and no technical support for installation will be provided.

It was further made to the notice of all the participants that the Registry will share the Meeting ID and Password for ZOOMmeeting and the Advocates concerned may connect to the VideoConference Room using the Meeting ID and Password shared with them, also it is to ensure that their camera is in a stable position and focused at their eye level and there is sufficient light on the Advocates, also it says to not sit too far from or too close to the camera. On thescreen, the face should not be blurred or dark but must be clearly identifiable.

The guidelines appeal to maintain discipline by speaking one at a time in order to experience a good conference during multiparty hearing andkeep microphone muted and unmute only when speak. Only the Speaker’s microphone should be unmuted at any given time.

“Persons whose presence is not necessary or those who disturbor otherwise impede the smooth conduct of proceedings orviolate the etiquette will be removed without notice or warning.Persons removed will not be able to re-join. No complaint willbe entertained against removal”, said in the guidelines.

It is said that only the Advocate/duly authorized person will address the Court. The hosts and co-hosts are authorized to mute/unmuteany of the participants. Subsequently, a complaint in regard to the quality or audibility of feed, if any will be communicated on the helpline No.14603 or 022-22676751 only during the proceeding or immediately after its conclusion failing which no grievance in regard to it will be entertained thereafter. All hearings conducted via Video Conferencing proceed as if the Advocates are appearing before the Court in person.Therefore, Advocates were reminded to comply with all Court rules of dress and etiquette.

The guidelines stressed upon the recording of the VC Court proceeding/hearing in video,audio and/or any other form which is strictly prohibited. Lastly, it was informed that the order will not be uploaded immediately. However, a digitally-signed authenticated copy will be made available by the PA/PS of the Judge to the Advocates concerned at the email address provided. The orders will be physically signed and uploaded after normal court working resumes and the word ‘Advocate’ wherever occurring in the guidelines, will also include a Party-in-Person.

-India Legal Bureau

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

News Update