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VC Hearing: Allahabad High Court Decides To Migrate From JITSI Meet Platform To WebEx Events Platform In A Phased Manner

Sparsh Upadhyay
4 July 2021 6:37 AM GMT
VC Hearing: Allahabad High Court Decides To Migrate From JITSI Meet Platform To WebEx Events Platform In A Phased Manner
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To ease the procedure for participating in virtual court proceedings, the Allahabad High Court has decided to adopt the CISCO WebEx Events platform for video conferencing at Allahabad in place of the JITSI Meet platform, which was being used till now. A notification in this regard was issued on Saturday (July 3).The migration shall take place in a phased manner and the Courts which...

To ease the procedure for participating in virtual court proceedings, the Allahabad High Court has decided to adopt the CISCO WebEx Events platform for video conferencing at Allahabad in place of the JITSI Meet platform, which was being used till now.  A notification in this regard was issued on Saturday (July 3).

The migration shall take place in a phased manner and the Courts which will commence functioning on the new platform with effect from Monday i.e. 5 July 2021 are Court nos 2, 3, 34, 35, 38, and 45.  

The notification issued by the High Court in this regard states:

"The new platform simplifies the procedure for participating in virtual court proceedings by doing away with the system of lawyers depending on receiving individual SMS invitations daily to join court proceedings. Additionally, it enables lawyers, litigants in person to witness virtual court proceedings in real-time while waiting in the Attendee Gallery/Waiting Room for their matter to be called."

A step-by-step guide for navigating the new platform has also been published on the official website of the Court titled "Standing Operating Procedure for Ld. Advocate/Party-in-person for hearing through Video Conferencing on WebEx Events".

Standard Operating Procedure for Ld. Advocate/Party-in-person for hearing through Video Conferencing is as follows:

  • Under the WebEx Events platform, each of the above Courts would be assigned a unique URL which alone may be accessed for participating in the virtual court proceedings. Please note that no separate links via e-mail or SMS would be sent. The unique URL would be displayed on the official website of the Court.
  • Lawyers/Litigants-in-person desirous of participating in Virtual Court proceedings are expected to ensure the broadband connection of a minimum of 2 Mbps/dedicated 4G data connection.
  • They may also ensure that other than their own, NO OTHER DEVICE is connected through that data connection during the Virtual Court proceedings.
  • The following Standard Operating Procedure may be followed for use of desktop/laptop, mobile phone/ tablet or iPad or teleconferencing, for optimal use and convenience.

The development comes soon after a PIL was filed before the Allahabad High Court by legal journalists Areeb Uddin Ahmed and Sparsh Upadhyay through Advocate Shashwat Anand along with three law students, seeking permission for Live-streaming and Live-reporting of Court proceedings across the State of Uttar Pradesh, including the High Courts, Subordinate Courts and Tribunals.

"The fundamental right to Freedom of the Press, of the petitioners – as journalists/ mediapersons – is well-settled in the day to gain access to VC or physical hearings and report the same as they occur, as the same is an implicit aspect of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution," the petition had stated.

Hearing the plea, the Allahabad High Court had, in May 2021, observed that its administrative side was working on all aspects of live streaming and live reporting of Court proceedings, for wider public access. The submission on behalf of HC adminsitration was made by the Standing Counsel Ashish Mishra.

"No one is disputing your right. They're working on all the aspects of the matter, we have to give them some time," a Division Bench of Justices Pankaj Naqvi and Jayant Banerji said while adjourning the matter for six weeks.

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