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Step By Step Guide To E-Filing & VC Hearing Procedure In Urgent Matters In Delhi High Court

Lovisha Aggarwal
2 May 2020 12:27 PM GMT
Step By Step Guide To E-Filing & VC Hearing Procedure In Urgent Matters In Delhi High Court
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During the lockdown in the National Capital Territory of Delhi in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi High Court has resolved to hear inter alia fresh urgent matters through Video Conference("VC"). Since it is a relatively new practice, this article is an attempt to aid fellow lawyers with the procedure related to Mentioning, Listing and Hearing and the requisites of Pleadings in urgent matters, based on personal experience with VC hearing at Delhi High Court and a reading of the Office Orders issued by the Registrar General, Delhi High Court from time to time.

Procedure of Mentioning

Timings for Mentioning: 9 AM to 10.30 AM (Earlier it was 10.30AM to 12PM)

Days: All working days

  • Prepare a Document explaining the urgency.
    1. Length: One page
    2. Format: .PDF
    3. File size: not exceeding 5MB

  • The details to be filled on the above link are:
    1. Name of Parties
    2. Case Category
    3. Name, Email ID and Contact Number of Counsel for Petitioner/Plaintiff
    4. Matter Type (i.e. Fresh/Pending)
    5. Document explaining the urgency.

The linked page looks like this:



 


  • (OPTIONAL) In case of technical difficulty in assessing/submitting on the above-mentioned link, counsel may contact: Mr. Sarsij Kumar, Joint Director (IT) at +91 96500-06723.

  • SMS regarding Successful Receipt of the Request will be received on the mobile number submitted by the Counsel on the link.

If Requested Matter is Declined

  • SMS will be received on the mobile number submitted by the Counsel on the link informing the following:
    1. The request has been declined
    2. Option to request the designated Hon'ble Judge for reconsideration by 3.00 pm same day only.

  • If the option for requesting reconsideration is chosen through the SMS, the matter shall be put up for reconsideration.

If Mentioning is Allowed

  • SMS will be received on the mobile number submitted by the Counsel on the link informing the following:
    1. Request for Urgent Listing has been accepted
    2. Request Reference Number and Date of Acceptance
    3. Direction to effect advance service on opposite party/counsel through e-mail as well as over mobile.
    4. Email IDs and Contact numbers of counsels of Government of NCT of Delhi and Union of India for effecting advance service
    5. Email ID on which the Pleading has to be submitted within 2 hours of receipt of the SMS.
    6. Requisites of Pleadings (as mentioned in the last section)
    7. Details of AOJs to be contacted for further follow up.

  • Effect advance service of the whole set of pleadings on opposite party/counsel through e-mail as well as over mobile.

  • Annex the proof of advance service as the last annexure to the pleading and containing the e-mail address and mobile number of the opposite party/counsel.

  • Email the following at the email address mentioned in the SMS within 2 hours of receipt of the SMS:
    1. whole set of pleadings
    2. List of advocates for the Petitioner, their mobile no. and email address.
    3. List of advocates for the Opposite Party, their mobile no. and email address or the mobile no. and email address of the Opposite Party.

Procedure of Listing

In case of defects in the Matter/Pleadings

  • SMS will be received on the mobile number submitted by the Counsel on the link informing the following:
    1. Defects
    2. Request to clear defects
    3. Time period available to clear defects

Matter will be listed only after the defects are cleared.

In case there are No Defects

  • SMS will be received on the mobile number submitted by the Counsel on the link informing the following:
    1. Diary Number
    2. Case No.
    3. Tentative Date of Hearing

  • Cause list will be uploaded on the DHC Website alongwith contact details of the Court Master.

  • One day before the hearing, Court Master will call on the mobile number submitted by the Counsel to confirm the E-mail IDs of the Counsel appearing for the matter.

  • E-mail will be received on the Email-IDs confirmed in Step III informing the following:
    1. Link for Video Conference (done through Cisco Webex Meeting)
    2. Date of the hearing
    3. Time of the hearing
    4. Meeting Number (Access Code)
    5. Meeting Password (to access the meeting)
    6. iCalendar file (.ics file to automatically add the event in Counsel's Google/Outlook/other calendar)

The mail looks like this:



 


Procedure of Hearing

[Note: In case the counsel cannot handle video conferencing from home, he may attend the same from the Delhi High Court premises. One needs to make a request to Mr. Manoj Gaur, at 097173 94840 for the same.]

  • Login by entering your Name and Email ID.

The screen looks like this:



 


  • Click on the 'Join Meeting' button in the link sent to the Email-ID by High Court Registry.

  • The screen will display message 'meeting has not started yet' until the meeting starts.

  • Minutes before the meeting, Court Master will inform the Counsels over call on the mobile numbers submitted by the Counsel that the next item is his and the meeting is about to start.

  • Click on the 'Join Meeting' button and you will enter the meeting room.

  • Bench introduces all the counsels and the proceedings starts.

  • (OPTIONAL) In case any audio visual difficulty was experienced during the proceedings which affected the efficient hearing of the matter, the Bench may pass a direction to entertain complaints related to visual acuity or audibility and then the counsel may contact the Helpline Number "14611". In case it cannot be reached, the counsel may contact the Court Master at the number mentioned in the Cause List.

Requisites of Pleading

  1. File Format: PDF (preferably, bookmarked)
  2. File Type: Scanned soft copy (preferably OCR Scanning)
  3. Mandatory accompanying Application: Application with a prayer for:
    1. exemption from filing duly affirmed affidavit(s)
    2. undertaking to pay the court fees/deficit court fees within 72 hours from the date of resumption of the regular functioning of this Court
  4. Filing of Proof of Service Mandatory: Proof of advance service to the opposite party/counsel has to be marked as the Last Annexure.
  5. Pleadings and Applications should be signed by the Party and Counsel.

VI. The whole set of Pleading including Affidavits, Annexures, Application(s) and Last Annexure (proof of Service) should be sent as one single file.

Note: The pleading should be kept ready before submitting the request for Urgent Listing because once the request/mentioning is allowed, the Counsel has to mandatorily mail the whole set of pleadings within 2 hours of receipt of acceptance SMS.

Links of relevant DHC Office Orders

  1. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_1EV5ZB17IZM.PDF
  2. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_JHPEXF09ATR.PDF
  3. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_0YQ3PR9YSM6.PDF
  4. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_BPF6VUX7EFN.PDF
  5. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_2WG5P25UKVJ.PDF
  6. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_F96N7ECEFRP.PDF
  7. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_L07R5UBQP6N.PDFS
  8. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_3ILQVZ6KX1I.PDF

(Lovisha Aggarwal is a Partner at Vertical Legal Offices, Delhi and can be reached at [email protected])

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