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COVID-19: Calcutta HC Notifies Procedure For Listing Of Urgent Matters Via Video-Conferencing [Read Notification]

28 March 2020 2:27 PM GMT
COVID-19: Calcutta HC Notifies Procedure For Listing Of Urgent Matters Via Video-Conferencing [Read Notification]
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In view of the litigants' inability to access courts due to the nation-wide lockdown imposed on Tuesday-midnight, the Calcutta High Court has issued a notification stating that court proceeding of extremely urgent matters may be conducted via video-conferencing, through Skype conference call.

The notification issued by the Registrar General in this behalf details the procedure to be followed by the concerned Advocates/ parties, both for mentioning the matter for urgent listing and for filings to be made before the court, once normalcy is restored.

The litigants have been instructed to send scanned copies of their petitions/ applications through email to the Registry, for urgent mentioning only. Such petitions/ applications will be accompanied by an application stating the extreme urgency for hearing and an undertaking, stating that the deficit court fees will be paid upon restoration of normalcy.

The matter will then be listed, subject to satisfaction of the presiding judge regarding urgency of the matter.

Further, all the litigants/ Advocates have been advised not to avail of the video conferencing facility at the High Court premises, unless unavoidable, in order to effectively observe social distancing.

The notification states,

  • For all matters involving extreme urgency, the Advocate-on-Record/Party-in-person is first required to file the scanned copy of the petition/application and documents alongwith Form-A or Form-B, whichever is necessary, through the email [email protected] together with a prayer for exemption from filing duly affirmed affidavit in the prevailing circumstances with an undertaking that deficit court fees will be paid subsequently, within 48 hours of opening the High Court, after attaining normalcy. Thereafter, and upon completion of all formalities of filing such petition/application, the AOR/Party-in-person is required to file separately a signed and verified application containing a synopsis of extreme urgency through the said e-mail latest by 2:00 pm on the day, preceeding the day of sitting of the Hon'ble Benches, subject to any leave to be granted by the Hon'ble Bench to the contrary;
  • The application must inter-alia clearly contain the case-details, Bench-details, contact-details of the AOR/party in-person including e-mail id, mobile number and alternate number(s), residence/office address with Pin Code and Police Station. The application must also contain a separate paragraph giving consent that the matter may be taken up through the Video-Conferencing mode. In the application, the AOR/Party-in-Person must specify as to whether he would link through own desktop/laptop/mobile or would prefer to avail such facility in the High Court premises;
  • For the purpose of video-conferencing, the AOR/Party-in-person are hereby also requested to mention their 'Skype' contact details, alongwith other details in their mentioning application
  • Upon approval of the urgency by the Hon'ble Presiding Judge of the Bench(es), the case(s) would be enlisted in the cause-list to be published on the website of the Hon'ble High Court in 'Notification' column by evening hours on the day preceeding the sitting of the Bench. The list may also be published on the selfsame day upon leave of the Bench;
  • In all cases taken on the board, an intimation regarding time of sitting of the Hon'ble Bench(es) and approximate time of the hearing of their case(s) shall be sent to the concerned AOR/Party-in-Person on the Mobile Number and e-mail as mentioned in the application. It is, therefore, desired that the AOR/Party-in-Person must keep his mobile free around the time indicated, as the High Court Registry will call on the mobile number mentioned in their application when the matter is to be called for hearing through video-conferencing, as per cause-list;
  • If the Advocate/Party-in-Person is unable to connect through videoconferencing due to non-availability of hardware/network on any given date, the matter would be listed on the next date of the sitting of any Bench and the AOR/Party-in-Person may appear through Video-Conferencing facility being made available in the High Court premises and for that they have to mention in the application their desire to do so;
  • Since the prevailing situation demands that the persons be discouraged from undertaking any kind of journey/travel, the Registry is taking all steps necessary to conduct the aforesaid hearings through remote VC links, and the AORs/Parties-in-persons are advised to refrain from exercising the option of participating in the hearing through VC facility available at the High Court premises for the present, as that would entail unnecessary and avoidable travel through public spaces;
  • The Registry would act only upon such e-mails as are sent to the mail-id as specified above, and reply would be sent, as may be required, to the same email id from where the request would have come. Hence, AOR/Party-in-Person are requested not to send such e-mails to any other mail ids;
  • The Registry would keep only such offices open with skeletal staff as may be required to facilitate the holding of the Hon'ble Bench for extreme urgent cases or as directed from time to time, and for facilitating all matters that may be connected to smoothly holding of such Hon'ble Bench, by video-conferencing or otherwise.

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