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'Only Advisory' : Supreme Court Clarifies Lawyers Not Barred From Using Mobile Phones To Attend VC

Srishti Ojha
19 Jan 2022 12:58 PM GMT
Only Advisory : Supreme Court Clarifies Lawyers Not Barred From Using Mobile Phones To Attend VC
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The Secretary General of Supreme Court of India has written to the Supreme Court Advocates On Record Association clarifying that Supreme Court's notification dated January 17, 2022 asking lawyers to avoid using mobile phones during virtual court hearings was only advisory in nature.The letter has stated that the purpose of the said advisory is to facilitate smooth functioning of the Court and...

The Secretary General of Supreme Court of India has written to the Supreme Court Advocates On Record Association clarifying that Supreme Court's notification dated January 17, 2022 asking lawyers to avoid using mobile phones during virtual court hearings was only advisory in nature.

The letter has stated that the purpose of the said advisory is to facilitate smooth functioning of the Court and to avoid inconvenience to all the stakeholders and nowhere in the said advisory was it stated that the usage of mobile phones is barred.

To remove any apprehensions in this regard, it has been clarified that in case any lawyer does not have desktop/laptop etc they can attend the proceedings through the mobile phone ensuring that the advocate appearing is properly visible and audible to the Court.

The clarification has come in response to Supreme Court Advocates On Record Association's representation to CJI to ask the Registry to not insist on a particular kind of equipment or connectivity to join court hearings through VC.

The Secretary General has in his letter stated that the Chief Justice of India has always been alert to the multifarious hardships being faced by the advocate community in these difficult times, and has highlighted these issues in various public fora, long before any Bar Body flagged these issues.

Further, according to the letter, in the communication addressed by the CJI to the Minister of Law and Justice as early as on 08.06.2021, the CJI had emphasised on the urgent need to augment the network and connectivity across the country and also on the need to extend financial assistance to the advocates who are struggling to make both ends meet.

The Secretary General has therefore asked Dr Aristotle to assure all members of the Association that the welfare of the advocate community will always receive deserving attention from the Registry which serves under the CJI whose welfarist approach was acknowledged by SCAORA more than once.

After Chief Justice of India on Monday expressed unhappiness regarding lawyers attending virtual hearing through their mobile phones, the Supreme Court of India had notified 'best practices for virtual court proceedings, asking all advocates to avoid joining hearings through their mobile phones.

All Advocates and party in persons were requested to join the Cisco Webex application for joining the court hearings through Desktops or Laptops with a stable internet connectivity, preferably wired, to avoid any disruption in the court proceedings and inconvenience to the Judges

Click here to read/download the letter



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