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Delhi High Court introduces “Public viewing” of Court Proceedings

June 23, 2020

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court (hereinafter as ‘the Court’) in order to bring back the practice of public hearing, has introduced ‘public viewing’ of Court proceedings in lieu of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, vide its latest notification dated June 20, 2020[1]. The tech-savvy measure as adopted by the Court, not only ensures public safety during the lockdown but also brings the Indian judiciary one step closer to restoring its usual functioning.

The Hon’ble Court, vide notification dated June 01, 2020, passed the High Court of Delhi Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts, 2020 in exercise of its powers as per Articles 225 and 227 of the Constitution of India. As per Rule 16.1, public viewing of Court proceedings, except in-camera proceedings, is permitted via video conferencing and the Rule lays a duty upon the Court to provide available sufficient links (consistent with available bandwidth) for accessing the proceedings[2]. Such public viewing would only be permitted so long it does not disturb the system’s stability i.e., the same shall be consistent with the available bandwidth.

Public Viewing of Court Proceedings- Guidelines

  • Persons interested are required to contact the concerned Court Master/Court Official on the given mobile phone numbers as published in the cause list, latest by 9 PM on the day prior to the date of hearing for getting access links.
  • If for some reason the person interested is unable to do the same, he/she shall contact such Master/Official by 10 AM on the date of hearing for link access. The guidelines also state that no requests will be entertained once the Court hearing commences.
  • The attendees are to ensure their mic is muted and video-mode is switched off, so that Court’s decorum is maintained during the hearing.

 

[1] http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_VHTTKW9Q8XI.PDF; accessed on 22 Jun. 20

[2] http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/upload/Notification/NotificationFile_ULDC4UVQWZ9.PDF; accessed on 22 Jun. 20

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