Supreme Court Issues Notice to All HCs, NCLAT, NCLT and NGT on Status of Virtual Hearings
The Leaflet 15 September 2023
The Supreme Court issued notices and called for a reply from all high courts (HCs) and tribunals to apprise it of the fact whether they have disabled the hybrid mode of hearing and, if yes, the reasons for the same.
A three-judge Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra issued notice to the registrars of all the high courts and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) and the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The Bench was hearing a petition filed by one Sarvesh Mathur alleging that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has completely stopped using video conferencing for hearings.
Lauding the petitioner for bringing the matter to its notice, the Bench said it would do something which it has been thinking about for a long time.
Earlier this year, the CJI had urged all high courts to continue with the hybrid mode of hearing.
In February this year, the CJI expressed his displeasure at the attitude of certain high court chief justices who were disbanding technological infrastructure created by using public money.
He said they cannot just switch off the cameras and microphones and insist on the physical presence of lawyers and litigants.
The Supreme Court has also been hearing a batch of petitions seeking declaration to the effect that virtual hearing is a fundamental right of a litigant.
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