Now plea to declare virtual hearing as a fundamental right!

Kashmir Times. Dated: 8/24/2021 12:16:27 AM

NEW DELHI, Aug 23: The Supreme Court was on Monday moved by a lawyers' body to declare the virtual mode of hearing as a fundamental right. It is against the decision of he Uttarakhand High Court to exclude virtual hearing of cases from Tuesday when the physical functioning would be resumed.

The petition by the All India Jurists Association, a body of more than 5,000 lawyers, has challenged the August 16 notification issued by the High Court's registrar general that no request for virtual hearing will be entertained, once the physical hearing is resumed.

It has sought an interim order that no lawyer in ordinary circumstances be denied access to the virtual courts or any category of proceedings before the High Courts.

"The virtual court has been proscribed by directing that no such request shall be enterained. Pertinently, the copy of the said notification has been forwarded to all the High Courts, anticipating similar orders issued by all other High Courts," the plea said.

It argues that the High Court's order is a death knell for the idea of the virtual courts, which delivers accessible and affordable justice in the country as propagated by the e-committee of the top court.

The petition has sought issue of the directions declaring that the right to access to the virtual courts through video conferencing for attending and participating in the conduct of any case proceeding is a facet of fundamenl right guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution.

It also referred to the High Courts of Bombay, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh compelling the lawyers to appear physically.



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