BCD appeals advocates to cooperate, make use of physical opening of courts

New Delhi: The Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) on Tuesday appealed all advocates in the national capital to fully cooperate and make use of the physical opening of the courts on rotation basis, which is likely to start from September 1.

“We would appeal to all advocates to fully cooperate and make use of the physical opening of courts on a rotational basis, to mitigate the hardship and it is time for the Coordination Committee and Bar Associations, and the advocates in general, to come forward to assist the Chief Justice and other Judges of High Court of Delhi to put in place a comprehensive plan and ensure that there is due compliance of the same, to obviate any adverse situation,” the BCD said in a statement.

Advocate KC Mittal, BCD chairman, said that a section of colleagues in the profession is against the resumption of the physical hearing, but added that it is not an appropriate time for raising voice in favour or against physical hearing.

“We all have been facing a precarious condition due to pandemic since March 2020, when the lockdown was imposed by the government of India. The conditions due to total closure of the courts led to worse financial crisis even to survive, despite possible help by Bar Council and respective Bar Associations,” the statement said.

“The continued closure for more than five months, with no certainty to open physical functioning added to agony in prevailing conditions of spread of coronavirus,” it added.

Mittal said that the necessity for physical functioning of the courts was eagerly awaited to enable advocates to earn their livelihood.

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“The issue was raised before the Chief Justice and other Judges of the High Court of Delhi through various representations and discussions with representatives of Bar Associations, since the conduct of court proceedings through video conferencing was not accessible to most of the advocates, despite providing video conferencing facilities within the precincts of various courts,” the statement said.

He pointed out that a large number of matters were taken up, initially only the urgent matters and subsequently even regular matters, from March 23, 2020, to July 31, 2020, as far as the High Court of Delhi and District Courts are concerned.

“Vide communication dated August 16, 2020, the Registrar General, High Court of Delhi has stated that to begin with, on an experimental basis, around one-fourth of the courts can resume physical functioning on a rotational basis with effect from September 1, 2020, and rest can continue taking up matters through video conferencing,” it added,

Mittal said that a comprehensive plan to regulate the functioning of the courts is under preparation and added that this step is in the right direction for the resumption of court working and the onus is on everyone to make it a success. 

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