Writ petition in Supreme Court challenges the decision of Uttarakhand High Court to have mandatory physical hearings

The Uttarakhand High Court had issued a notification on August 16th, which mandated that all lawyers would have to appear physically without an option of virtual hearings.

All Indian Association of Jurists and Advocates, representing around 5,000 lawyers across the country, has filed a writ petition challenging the order and seeking an immediate stay on this order.

The petition stated that termination of virtual hearings altogether would cause grave inconvenience to litigants and lawyers.

The petition not only challenged the orders of the High Court, but also requested the court to declare that right to participate in court proceedings through virtual courts via video conference is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) and (g) of the Constitution.

The petition also sought a direction to restrain all High Courts from denying access to lawyers through virtual mode of hearing and video conference on the ground of availability of the option of physical hearing.

A bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justice Surya Kant, heard the petition through an early listing.

The Bench stated that there is a varied opinion among the lawyers and the Bar about the issue of virtual hearing and physical hearing.

The Bench has promised to look into the matter.

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