Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, Division bench, Delhi High Court, in response to a petition that requested virtual hearing till the vaccination drive for lawyers, stated that since March 15th there will no longer be virtual hearing. It noted that there is no infrastructure in the Indian judiciary to support hybrid hearing.
To quote the order:
“While making the requests, parties should clearly set out the exceptional circumstance/case and also indicate their geographic location from where they would be joining (the video conferencing hearing). Mere absence of the counsel or party within the NCT of Delhi may not be a sufficient ground for making a request for VC hearing.”
“As far as what would constitute an exceptional circumstance, would have to be left to discretion of the judge(s) before whom request is made. However, to put to rest any uncertainty, it would be appropriate that such a request is made at least one working day in advance…”
The court directed the High Court to set up for and install systems in the courtrooms to ensure that physical hearing may resume. If every courtroom can be fitted with infrastructure for hybrid hearing, will hybrid hearing be entertained.
This matter is listed to be heard again on 24th of March, 2021.