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SC to hear cases through video conferencing, regular benches shut
New Delhi, March 23, 2020
The Supreme Court on Monday decided to shut regular courts and Tuesday onwards it will hear only "extreme urgent matters" through video-conferencing.
According to a circular issued by the apex court, the benches may be constituted to hear only matters involving extreme urgency, which will be decided by the presiding Judge of the bench on the basis of prayer made by Advocate-on-Record (AoR)/party-in person by way of a signed and verified application containing a synopsis of extreme urgency not exceeding one page, similar to urgency affidavit filed during Court vacation periods. This application shall be submitted only by e-mail sent to mention email@example.com latest by 2 p.m. on the day preceding the day of the sitting of the bench.
"The application must also contain a separate paragraph giving consent that the matter may be taken up through the video-conferencing mode. In the application, the AOR/Party-in-Person must specify as to whether he would link through own desktop/mobile or would prefer to appear at such facility in the Supreme Court premises," said the circular.
An application called 'vidyo' will be available for download by Monday evening and the same is downloadable for all Android and Apple based smartphones. In case the application praying for listing on grounds of extreme urgency is not allowed, the AOR would be permitted to make oral mentioning before the presiding judge, over the landline phone at the residential office strictly between 10.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the day of the hearing.
"In all cases taken on the board, an intimation regarding time of sitting of the Bench and approximate time of the hearing of their case(s) shall be sent to the concerned AOR/Party-in-Person on the Mobile Number and e-mail as mentioned in the application," said the circular.
The AOR/Party-in-Person would also be provided one-time link for such hearing to facilitate their participation in the hearing of the case as and when the same is conducted by the bench.
"With a view to streamline the access to members of the Press, the Deputy Registrar (Public Relations Officer) may permit only three media persons to remain inside the Video-Conference Room, whenever the bench may sit to take up extreme urgent matters, till further orders," said the circular.
The President of Supreme Court Bar Association and the Secretary of the Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association may authorize entry of any advocate into the High Security Zone, by communication on their letter head, scanned and sent to the Registrar (AG) at firstname.lastname@example.org one day ahead of the requested time of entry, specifying the area of visit within High Security Zone.