The Supreme Court has closed the writ petition filed against recommencement of physical sittings and filings in the Kerala High Court taking note of the report that any Advocate will be provided with the facility for video conferencing if he seeks it for hearing a case pending before the High Court.
The writ petition filed by a lawyer PG Aravind had sought for the quashing of Notice by the High Court, which mandates re-commencement of physical filings of applications/petitions, except bail pleas w.e.f. July 6 and for physical appearances except before Single Judges. The lawyer had also question the decision of the High Court permitting e-filing on bail applications only and contended that it ought to have permitted e-filing of all nature of cases.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul & MR Shah, though initially was not inclined to entertain the plea and asked the Petitioner to approach the Kerala High Court, it subsequently took note of the Counsel's submission that the mandate could not be effectuated in light of the Coronavirus-induced situation. It then directed the Solicitor General to seek instructions from the Kerala High Court
Thereafter, a report on the functioning of the High Court – hearing of cases through video conferencing physical filing, e-filing and physical hearing was filed. "If any of the Advocate seeks hearing through video conferencing, in a case pending before a Division Bench or a Single Bench, the Registry has assured that facility for the same will be provided.", it was stated in the report.
Taking note of this, the counsel for the petitioner stated that she has no grievance now. Thus the bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy closed the writ petition.
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