The Chairman of Bar Council of Delhi, KC Mittal has written to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, urging him to hold some benches in the High court premises and permit entry to the concerned advocate on record.
Mittal points out that though restricting court work to "extremely urgent matters" is essential to hold out the pandemic, such unprecedented circumstances have adversely affected certain class of persons, particularly under trials and other needy citizens whose cases, despite urgency, could not be taken up.
Notably, the Supreme Court on Monday issued a slew of directions to streamline the functioning of courts via video conferencing and in effect relaxed the present protocol of extremely urgent hearing and accommodated other categories of urgent hearings.
The Supreme Court had also asked the courts to reduce the need for the physical presence of all stakeholders within court premises and directed that court will have the power to restrict entry into courtroom to maintain distancing.
In this backdrop, Mittal has urged that some benches may be held in the High court, restricting entry by permitting only the advocate on record. The letter states,
"Hon'ble Supreme Court vide order dated 06.04.2020.has passed certain directions to conduct hearings through videoconferencing, which pave way for relaxing the present protocol of extremely urgent hearing and accommodating other categories of urgent hearings and also consider to introduce a mechanism so that some matters of great importance and causing great prejudice to people can be taken up by strictly observing the preventive measures. If possible some benches can be held in the High court, restricting entry by permitting only the advocate on record."
Inter alia, he has appealed to the Chief Justice DN Patel to allocate more judicial officers in the District Courts also so as to facilitate hearing of other categories of urgent matters, under the protocol set out by the Supreme Court.
"This will subserve the wider interest of all stakeholders of the justice delivery system in general and also provide succour to the lawyers and litigants in particular," Mittal urged.