News By/Courtesy: Jeffy Johnson | 04 Apr 2020 15:19pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ensure that during the lock-down period the courts function.
  • Electronic access to hearings
  • Electronic Filings, Video Conferencing and Virtual Courts

To make sure that the urgent cases are heard without any delay during the period of pandemic COVD 19. The entities are not entitled to come to the court for their cases listed to be heard. E-Committee of the Supreme Court assembled through video conferencing. Dr Justice Chandrachud, the chairperson looked into the measures taken by the High Courts in their respective jurisdictions. He looked into the shortcomings suffered by certain states in e-filing. He also went to the factors and difficulties faced in the functioning of the virtual courts and hearing through video conferences. The Chairperson Justice Chandrachud proposed a meeting with the every High Court's Chairpersons of the computer committee. The agenda of the meeting was as follows. Firstly ensure that the lockdown does not hinder the urgent case hearing in all courts in the country. To make sure this agenda is fulfilled facilitate e-filing consistent with Section 6 of the IT Act. Enabling video conferences and installing porta-cabins at entrances. Also providing e-filing scanning and uploading. Providing funds to the E-committee and encourage lawyers and judges to take up cases from their residence through video conferencing. Secondly to ensure that courts are open to hearings with the aid of video conferencing. Thirdly to use the latest software patch for posting case automatically in CIS 3.2. Fourthly setting up of virtual courts. Fifthly to use the pandemic time for the pending housekeeping activities like migration to CIS 3.2. Lastly any other activity with the approval of the chair. Chairpersons of 23 High Courts of the country participated in this meeting. These chairpersons discussed the difficulties faced by them in their respective states in setting up the virtual courts. Justice Chandrachud provided them with the suggestion to ensure smooth functioning. He stated that a strategic plan and prompt actions should be taken during the time of crisis. He highlighted the importance of usage of technology even after the lockdown period is over. E-filing is more convenient and quick methods compared to other traditional approaches. He also stated that the manpower used during the lockdown can be reduced if e-filing and video conferencing are used efficiently. In the meeting, it was noticed that the software for the functioning of virtual courts was provided to all states by the NIC team.  But it's effectiveness was witnessed only in a few states. This meeting concluded on a positive note were all High Courts agreed that they will take the assistance of the e-committee and functioning promptly.     

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 04 Apr 2020 18:59pm IST


Tags : Functioning of SC in Pandemic

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