The Allahabad High Court Bar Association has sought certain clarifications with regard to the E-filing procedure notified by the Registry last week.
In a letter addressed to Chief Justice Govind Mathur, the HCBA has sought clarity as to what matters constitute "urgent matters" and whether all bail/ anticipatory bail applications would alone be treated as urgent for enabling e-filing.
Similar queries are also sought with respect to civil cases and the Association has asked whether any categorization has been made for urgency in civil matters.
Inter alia, the letter points out that the E-filing notice is silent with respect to filing of vakalatnama and the modes and methods thereto and it also gives an impression that for e-filing, affidavits would be required to be sworn at Allahabad, which makes the entire system illusory amid lockdown.
"The necessity of filing vakalatnama and swearing of affidavit at Allahabad would make whole system illusory in this period of lockdown when all movements are restricted. Furthermore, in case a client or pairokar can come to Allahabad in violation of the lockdown, the lawyers and clerks would be subjected to exposure to infection of Covid 19 on account of physical interaction which would defeat the purpose of the system," the letter states.
In this backdrop the Association has suggested that Aadhar based applications may be used for eliminating physical presence of client or pairokar while fixing responsibility on the relevant persons for averments made.
"Adhaar e-sign would obviate the necessity of filing affidavits as also digital signatures and secure the physical well being of Advocate and their clerks by eliminating physical interaction," the letter states.
Clarification is also sought in the direction that only lawyers on the Advocates roll of the High Court will be given access to the video link with a corresponding link to the designated senior Advocate whose name may be clearly mentioned in the case.
The Association has lastly urged the court to not pass any adverse orders against the lawyers in case they default in following the procedure, given that the changes in the procedure are "drastic" and lawyers need some time to "understand and adopt" the system. They have also urged that the present system of normal filing should be continued for a period of one month so as to provide time to lawyers for upgrading their windows, internet connectivity, etc.