Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Another Petition Filed In Supreme Court For Declaration Of Virtual Courts As A Fundamental Right

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
17 Sep 2021 6:43 AM GMT
Another Petition Filed In Supreme Court For Declaration Of Virtual Courts As A Fundamental Right
x

Another petition has been filed before the Supreme Court for declaring the availability of Virtual Courts as a Fundamental Right. The PIL on behalf of the litigant community has been filed by National Federation of Societies for Fast Justice along with former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh R. Gandhi and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro.The petition prays...

Another petition has been filed before the Supreme Court  for declaring the availability of Virtual Courts as a Fundamental Right. 

The PIL on behalf of the litigant community has been filed by National Federation of Societies for Fast Justice along with former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh R. Gandhi and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro.

The petition prays in the interim for a Restraint Order against all the High Courts of the country from closing down Virtual Courts without prior permission of the Supreme Court.

The plea drawn by Advocate Siddharth R. Gupta and filed through Advocate on Record Mrigank Prabhakar assails the decisions of the Uttarakhand and Gujarat High Courts of shutting down their respective virtual courts completely and shifting to physical mode of hearing. It further avers, 

"The decisions of Gujarat and Uttarakhand High Court dispensing with the hearing through the virtual mode of court proceedings is challenged fundamentally on the ground of denial of Fundamental Right of access to justice, which has now come to be acclaimed as a Fundamental Right guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India."

The Writ Petition also extensively refers to the vision of Chairman of the E-Committee of the Supreme Court, Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud to say that the decisions of the Uttarakhand and Gujarat High Courts are highly retrogressive and defeat the very novel idea of developing the system of Virtual Courts in the Country.

Further reliance is placed on the 103rd Parliamentary Standing Committee's Report along with Vision Document of the E-Committee both of which narrate the phenomenal advantages of the Virtual Courts and its potential to provide easy reach and economic accessibility to the litigants at large.

While arguing that access to justice is a Fundamental Right of the litigants under Articles 38 and 39A of the Constitution of India, it is further submitted that virtual courts provide hands-on accessibility on the smartphones to the litigants for attending and participating in the proceedings in which they are interested in the outcome of.

Enumerating the advantages of virtual hearings, the plea submits,

"A lawyer from a native district of the litigant can be ably engaged for appearing through video conferencing mode before the Constitutional Courts by the concerned litigant, without being compelled to travel all the way to the seat of respective High Court/ Supreme Court and then following the legal processes there. Thus, justice has become extremely localized from the viewpoint of a litigant."

In a similar development, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Bar Council of India, Supreme Court Bar Association and four High Courts on a writ petition seeking a similar relief for declaration of virtual court hearing as a fundamental right.

The Apex Court had issued notice to High Courts of Uttarakhand, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala in the plea filed by All India Association of Jurists and legal reporter Sparsh Upadhyay, challenging the recent decision of the Uttarakhand High Court to revert to complete physical hearings, without hybrid option.

Next Story