The high court through its Committee for Preparation of Graded Action Plan, has recommended the judicial officers to come to court only when they do not have requisite technical infrastructure at their residences for conducting video conferencing. The following recommendations have been laid down:
(i)All courts subordinate to the High Court, shall take up urgent cases (except where evidence is to be recorded) of their respective courts through Video Conferencing mode only.
(ii)The Judicial Officers presiding over such courts shall hear matters through Video Conferencing from their respective residences w.e.f. 16.6.2020. They may be permitted to come to court for holding Video Conferencing hearings from their respective chambers only when they do not have requisite technical infrastructure at their residences.
(iii)The District Judge shall ensure that at least one official/staff of every court is present on all working days to facilitate the Judicial Officer to conduct the Video Conferencing and for transmission of requisite documents/records to the Judicial Officers. The roster for such officials/staff shall be prepared keeping in mind the urgent need for social distancing and decongestion of court complexes.
(iv)Considering the present pandemic situation and to extend the facility of E-filing and hearings through Video-Conferencing to Civil Courts, it is recommended that:
(a)The facility of E-filing of cases under CIS 2.0, as already made available for the Family Courts and Commercial courts, be extended to the other civil courts to enable lawyers to file fresh matters, which shall be heard by the concerned courts through VC.
(b)Said facility may be also used for moving any urgent application in a pending matter where VC hearing is required.
(c) In case an Advocate/Party does not wish to avail the facility of e-filing and VC hearing, then the period of limitation for actions (if applicable) shall be governed by decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Suo-Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No.3/2020 titled In re: Cognizance For Extension of Limitation dated 23.03.2020, wherein the period of limitation has been extended till further order.
By Priyanka of SPPU