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Some courts not adhering to orders on hybrid hearings: Direct contempt, says Delhi HC, seeks report

“We are calling for a report from all district judges. We are also wanting to take this up because this is a clear and direct contempt of our order,” said the division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 13, 2021 7:14:41 pm
delhi high court, delhi news, afghan refugees protests, delhi city newsA counsel representing the High Court submitted that there were 71 matters listed before that magistrate on that day. (Representational image)

The Delhi High Court on Monday took strong note of the fact that some of the courts subordinate to it were not adhering to its order on hybrid hearings and asked the district courts to submit a report in this regard within two weeks.

“We are calling for a report from all district judges. We are also wanting to take this up because this is a clear and direct contempt of our order,” said the division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh.

The court was hearing an application filed by an advocate alleging that a court of metropolitan magistrate at Patiala House had not responded to their request for a hybrid hearing in their case last week and dismissed it for non-prosecution since the lawyer was not physically present. The bench was told that the court staff was contacted through phone, SMS, and email but no response was received.

A counsel representing the High Court submitted that there were 71 matters listed before that magistrate on that day. The court said that it would like to know how many of the cases were heard through hybrid mode and also asked the metropolitan magistrate to respond to the application.

The court on November 18 had directed the courts subordinate to comply with the office directions issued with regard to the system of hearing of matters and asserted that it cannot be that any judicial officer decides not to obey those directions and deny requests for hybrid hearing in any matter listed before them.

“We, therefore, direct all subordinate courts in Delhi to strictly adhere to the office order dated 12.08.2021 and 29.10.2021 till they remain in force,” it said in the order passed last month, while dealing with a petition seeking hybrid hearings in the court during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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