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'Little Sensitivity Shown By Delhi Govt In Providing Infrastructure For Virtual Hearings At District Courts': Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
27 Aug 2021 12:00 PM GMT
Little Sensitivity Shown By Delhi Govt In Providing Infrastructure For Virtual Hearings At District Courts: Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court has expressed its displeasure at the manner in which the Delhi Government has been dealing with the issue of providing infrastructure for virtual hearings in district courts and other quasi judicial bodies in the national capital.A Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said:"There seems to be little sensitivity shown by the GNCTD in the matter of...

The Delhi High Court has expressed its displeasure at the manner in which the Delhi Government has been dealing with the issue of providing infrastructure for virtual hearings in district courts and other quasi judicial bodies in the national capital.

A Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said:

"There seems to be little sensitivity shown by the GNCTD in the matter of providing requisite infrastructure for functioning of Virtual Courts in relation to the District Courts, other Courts & other quasi-judicial bodies in the NCT of Delhi during the Pandemic."

The Court was dealing with a plea filed by practicing lawyers being Senior citizens, stating that the Subordinate Courts and Quasi Judicial bodies in Delhi ought to be directed to hold hybrid hearings, even when they hold physical hearings, as there were several counsels who suffer from co-morbidities and are unable to appear before the Court physically, due to the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"A half page status report has been filed on behalf of the GNCTD along with annexures," the Court observed at the outset.

Directing the Delhi Government to file a better status report in the matter, the bench directed that the Principal Secretary (Law), Principal Secretary (Food & Supplies Department) and the Principal Secretary (Finance) to remain present for hearing on September 6, when the matter will be heard next.

During the course of hearing, Senior Advocate Manish Vashisht appearing for the petitioner submitted that in view of resumption of physical functioning of the Courts, both in the High Court and the District Courts, directions may be issued in order to limit the number of litigants to enter in court premises. He also submitted that directions may be issued to ensure that lawyers entering the premises are vaccinated.

He further suggested that such Advocates must produce the electronic copy of the certificate showing vaccination undertaken by them.

"In our view, both are good suggestions and these suggestions may be made by Mr. Vashisht to the Delhi High Court Bar Association as well as to the Coordination Committee of the District Courts Bar Associations, as well as to the Registrar General of this Court, who may examine the feasibility of implementing the same," the Court directed.

The Court went on to add that it's earlier order requiring quasi-judicial bodies having requisite infrastructure to permit Hybrid Hearings like the High Court and district courts, shall continue till further orders.

Case Title: ANIL KUMAR HAJELAY & ORS. v. HONBLE HIGH COURT OF DELHI

Click Here To Read Order

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