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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

High Court allows virtual hearings in courts that use physical mode

In the order passed on Tuesday, it has been made clear that request for appearing through physical mode will not be entertained for the courts being held through virtual mode only, on the given date.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: September 15, 2021 5:37:12 am
The order further mentioned that the VC group of the Courts will be made in the Courts nominated for physical hearing also as is being done on the day when the court is hearing the cases through Virtual Mode. (Representational)

Keeping in view of the difficulty being faced by Advocates in attending to the cases in both physical and virtual mode, the Punjab and Haryana High Court have ordered that Advocates will have an option of appearing through virtual mode in the Courts nominated for physical hearing.

The order has been passed by the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, amid situation arising due to outbreak of Covid- 19.

In the order passed on Tuesday, it has been made clear that request for appearing through physical mode will not be entertained for the courts being held through virtual mode only, on the given date.

The order further mentioned that the VC group of the Courts will be made in the Courts nominated for physical hearing also as is being done on the day when the court is hearing the cases through Virtual Mode.

If the case is listed in urgent motion cause list of the court nominated for physical hearing, the counsel may make a request in the VC group/mobile number of concerned official of the Bench for hearing through virtual mode, on the day immediately preceding the date on which the case is listed for hearing. And accordingly, the case shall be heard through virtual mode opted by the counsel.

Also if the case is listed in ordinary motion cause list of the court nominated for physical hearing, the counsel may make a request for hearing through the virtual mode after obtaining ‘No Objection’ from all opposite counsel and such request be communicated in the VC group of said Court.

In case No Objection, is not obtained from all the opposite counsels, the case will be heard through the physical mode only.

It has also been made clear in the order that No Objection from the offices of Advocates Generals of Punjab and Haryana will not be required in such cases.

As per HC officials, the court had started limited physical hearing with effect from February 8, 2021.
The number of Benches was gradually increased. As the second wave became more severe, thereby affecting a large number of judges, judicial officers, advocates and staff members, the High Court was forced to go back to restrictive functioning with effect from April 19 ,2021, and physical hearing was discontinued. However, all benches kept on functioning through the virtual mode.

Once the severity of the second wave reduced, all benches of the High Court have started functioning through the virtual mode from June 28, 2021. All urgent cases were being listed for hearing, and from September 6, 2021, limited physical hearing has again been resumed.

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