The Supreme Court has issued a circular on Friday permitting the interaction of Party-in-Person with the Registrar through Video Conferencing mode also.
The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Party-in-Person and the Registry for hearing of matters through Video Conferencing/Teleconferencing before the Registrars in Office has also been published in the Supreme Court official website.
Though the circular is dated 10th July 2020, it has been published in the Supreme Court only today.
Interaction Between Party-in-Person and the Registry
As per Proviso to Rule 1(c) of Order IV of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, when a party wants to appear and argue the case in person, he/she shall have to first file an application alongwith the petition seeking permission to appear and argue in person. In this application, he/she has to explain why he/she cannot engage an Advocate and wants to appear and argue in person. This application is first placed before the concerned Registrar to interact with the party-in-person. After the interaction, the Registrar gives an opinion by way of office report on whether the party-in-person will be able to give necessary assistance to the Court for proper disposal of the matter or an Advocate has to be appointed as Amicus Curiae. If the application is allowed by the Court, then only the party-in-person will be permitted to appear and argue the case in person.
As per the SOP, the Party-in-Person is instructed to specify as to whether he/she would link to the Registrar through his/her own Desktop/Laptop Computer or would prefer to avail the facility for video-conferencing in the Supreme Court premises. Thereafter, the web-link for joining the video-conference will be provided to the Petitioner-in-Person on the registered email ID and/or mobile number, as provided by the Party. The web link for joining the Party-in-Person shall be provided on the e-mail id and/or mobile number mentioned in the request mailed to the concerned Registrar/Judicial Branch, the SOP reads.
The Interaction has to be done by Registrar through web-based video-conferencing system on the VIDYO platform hosted on the servers of National Data Centre of National Informatics Centre, Govt. of India.