Supreme Court to go virtual: Only urgent matters; lawyers’ chambers sealed

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, March 23 : The Supreme Court on Monday decided to constitute two benches for hearing “extremely urgent matters” through video conferencing facility.

A high-level meeting was held between three Supreme Court judges — Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Aniruddha Bose and senior members of Bar associations — Dushyant Dave President, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Ashok Arora Secretary, SCBA and Joseph Aristotle Secretary Supreme Court Advocate in Record Association (SCAORA) and also Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

“It was discussed in the meeting that the court will constitute two benches for hearing of extremely urgent matters which will be conducted only through video conferencing,” said SCAORA in a statement.

An application called ‘vidyo’ will be available for download by on Monday evening and the same is downloadable for all android and Apple based smart phones.

“The app will function in all smartphones, desktops, mobiles, laptops, netbooks, ipads etc. that have cameras. During this period of shut down an email id that is [email protected] will be available to the lawyers to email their urgency matters,” said Aristotle.

In its statement SCAORA said a synopsis of the urgent matter would be prepared on one page, which could be emailed along with the petition/application to the registry at [email protected] by the advocate-on-record (AOR). This information will be shared with the available bench constituted for matters of urgency.

“The application should also clearly contain the details of the AOR especially the email id and mobile number of AOR. After the approval of urgency by the Judge, the matter will be listed in the cause list of the following day. The cause list will also bear the appropriate time of the matter for video conference,” said the SCAORA.

In case of the urgent matters that were filed by email but not being listed in the cause list, a telephone number will be provided by the registry for the purpose of AOR’s to mention to the presiding Judge about the urgency which will be available only between 10.30 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. of the following day of the filing.

Aristotle said a link will be sent to the email of the AOR on the very same email id (as mentioned in the application of urgency) and the link will be used only for video conference of that particular case at that particular time.

“Lawyers may click on the link and conduct their video conference at their respective allotted time. Based on the progress of the video conference of the aforesaid matters, cases pertaining to bail also will be considered to be listed subsequently on priority of urgency basis,” said SCAORA.

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