Sunday, December 10, 2023

Manipur violence: Supreme Court directs HC to provide VC facility in all courts in state, tells local Bar Associations to ensure safe appearance of lawyers

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The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Government of Manipur, along with the Chief Justice of the High Court, to ensure that the video conference facility was set up and operationalised in all courts falling under its jurisdiction within a week.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice J.B. Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra further directed the Bar Associations in Manipur to ensure that any lawyer, regardless of their community, was able to make a safe appearance before the courts.

Noting that there were nine judicial districts in Manipur, which covered 16 districts, the Apex Court said the VC facility would ensure that any member of the bar or a litigant was able to address the court without any problems.

It noted that the instructions were not issued on the basis of any complaint, but to caution that access to justice was not prevented.

After the order was dictated, a lawyer belonging to the Kuki community addressed the bench saying that his house was attacked in the ethnic violence and that he had to flee.

Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Manipur High Court Bar Association, refuted the allegations and said that the Bar Association President, who is present in the Courtroom, can personally vouch that all lawyers are granted access.

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