BCI to Kerala HC: Hold discussions with Bar and Reconsider E-filing Rules

Deepali Kalia

Bar Council of India wrote to the Registrar General of Kerala High Court requesting the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court to reconsider/review the E-filing rules of Kerala High Court and “to discuss and deliberate with the representatives of State Bar Council before finalizing and notifying such rules.”

Bar Council sought delay for 3-6 months on the implementation of the rules and to hold consultations on the rules with the bar and advocate clerks.

This response of the BCI came after Advocate Joseph, Chairman of the bar council of Kerala expressed his reservation about the manner in which the E-filing rules of the high court were being implemented and the processes which were involved.

The BCI Chairman Ashok Kumar Pandey in his letter to the Registrar General of Kerala High Court wrote. “The Chairman of the State Bar Council appears to have raised very exhaustive and valid points and has highlighted the practical difficulties, which the lawyers and their staffs are likely to face due to the introduction of the new Rules with regard to e-filing.”

The representative of Bar Council of Kerala’s Chairman stated the following, “The patently arbitrary and hasty manner in which the e-filing rules was notified by the High Court on 12.5.2021 is blatantly whimsical, abrasive and prejudicial, affecting the interest of the entire lawyer community of more than 40,000 lawyers in Kerala”.

The Bar council of Kerala stated that they do support the electronic filing mainly because it simplifies the filing procedure making it more convenient but the council insisted that the implementation should have been after consultation with the Bar.

The council stated various reasons why the E-filing rule’s applicability would not be possible at this juncture such as Lawyers practicing in remote areas lacked the high level equipment needed and also many lawyers aren’t well versed in use of high level technology either.

Therefore, the Council described the switch to E-filing drastic and stated that sometime should be provided for training and ensuring the setup of proper infrastructure.

The President of Kerala high Court Advocates Association met up with the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court on May 17, to express his concerns regarding the rules and recommended filing through email for now.

The Kerala High Court had last week issued its Electronic Filing Rules for Courts (kerala)2021(rules) for courts in the state.

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