SC tells CJs hybrid hearings will continue
Court’s e-Committee Chairperson Justice Chandrachud dispels notions that courts might revert to bodily listening to mode quickly
Supreme Court e-Committee Chairperson Justice D.Y. Chandrachud has written to the Chief Justices (CJs) of the High Courts that hybrid hearings will need to continue contemplating the pandemic scenario, dispelling notions that courts might revert to the bodily listening to mode quickly.
The onset of the pandemic in March 2020 witnessed a fast transition throughout the judiciary from bodily hearings to videoconferencing.
Justice Chandrachud famous that 96,74,257 instances had been examined via videoconferencing throughout the nation throughout the pandemic.
“Considering the present situation of the pandemic, consistent with the need to protect the safety of lawyers, litigants, court staff, judges and other stake-holders, it may not be possible to conduct only physical hearings of court proceedings and we may have to rely upon a hybrid model of hearing for some time. We need to plan effectively to be able to deal with all exigencies,” he wrote to the CJs.
Uniform videoconferencing mechanism
Justice Chandrachud, who has spearheaded the transition of the courts from bodily to digital mode, stated the committee was engaged on a uniform videoconferencing mechanism for courts throughout the nation.
However, till then, the letter requested the CJs to “opt for a suitable video conferencing solution from any of the available options”.
“Until the e-Committee can eventually provide one video conferencing solution for all High Courts, certain steps can be taken to facilitate judicial work, on the re-opening of courts after the summer recess… We must ensure that a robust, efficient and user-friendly video conferencing solution is available to users for effective hearing of court proceedings,” Justice Chandrachud wrote.
He urged the CJs to take corrective measures, intervene personally and preserve a watch to assist enhance the digital court docket system, particularly if advocates and litigants have grievances about its high quality and connectivity that impede their proper to entry to justice.