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Plea In Supreme Court Challenges MP High Court's Decision To Resume Physical Hearings

Sparsh Upadhyay
25 Oct 2021 2:12 PM GMT
Plea In Supreme Court Challenges MP High Courts Decision To Resume Physical Hearings
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An application has been moved before the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Madhya Pradesh High Court to resume physical hearing of cases at the Principal Seat in Jabalpur and Benches at Indore and Gwalior from October 25, 2021.The application, moved in the pending Writ Petition of All India Jurist Association and another v. High Court of Uttarakhand and Others, seeks the relief...

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An application has been moved before the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Madhya Pradesh High Court to resume physical hearing of cases at the Principal Seat in Jabalpur and Benches at Indore and Gwalior from October 25, 2021.

The application, moved in the pending Writ Petition of All India Jurist Association and another v. High Court of Uttarakhand and Others, seeks the relief of 'Continuing the Hybrid Model of Hearing with Video Conferencing facilities for all the lawyers and litigants till the final disposal of the Writ Petition on Merits'.

Importantly, the application highlights that the decision to stop virtual hearings by the MP high Court comes days after it invested more than Rupees 10 Crores to purchase 1700 licences of Webex Cisco through a national tender process.

Apart from this, it also contends that an amount of more than Rs. 100 Crores has been invested in upgrading and equipping the whole High Court of Madhya Pradesh for enabling the High Court to have the facility of Video Conference/ Virtual Court hearings.

Read more about the decision of the MP High Court here: Madhya Pradesh High Court To Resume Physical Hearing From October 25; SOP Issued

Further, the application also submits that the cap of 65 years for extending the benefit of hybrid and virtual hearing, as decided by the MP high Court, would create an artificial distinction of the classification, when any counsel below the age of 65 may also fall in need of Virtual hearing for multiple reasons.

"Hybrid Mode of hearing has substantially reduced the costs of contesting litigation for the litigants as they could have engaged lawyers of their choice at affordable fees and costs from any part of the State, with whom they are compatible. Therefore, for want of making justice accessible and affordable for each and every litigant, who is the ultimate beneficiary of the whole system, the Hybrid Model must not only be continued as it was in operation earlier, rather it should be further strengthened. For this reason only, the Hybrid Mode of hearing has been ongoing successfully in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh even after the pandemic has subsided from the months of July to middle of October, 2021," the application further goes on to submit.

It may be noted that All India Jurist Association along with Legal Correspondent Sparsh Upadhyay have already moved a Writ Petition before the Supreme Court of India through AOR Mr. Sriram Parakkat challenging Uttarakhand High Court's decision to completely suspend the option of Virtual Hearing in the High Court and instead required all the parties to be represented Physically.

Another Writ Petition filed by Mr. Shailash Gandhi, Mr. Julio Ribeiro and Society for Fast Justice, claiming access to Virtual Court as a Fundamental Right available under PART-III of the Constitution of India was directed to be tagged along with the pending Writ Petition of All India Jurists Association on October 8.

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