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Justice DY Chandrachud Will Head SC Bench to Hear Declare Virtual Hearing as Fundamental Right

2 min read

Debangana Ray

Published on July 26, 2022 at 21:35 IST

The Supreme Court directed the Registry to list the petitions seeking to declare virtual court hearing as a fundamental right before the bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud.

The pleas were mentioned before the bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli by Advocate Mrigank Prabhakar who had sought urgent listing of the same.

Urging the bench to list the petition, Prabhakar submitted that some High Courts were completely shutting down the hybrid mode. He also submitted that although the bench headed by Justice LN Rao (now retired) had on April 29, 2022 directed to list the pleas on July 25 but the same were not appearing in the cause list.

Considering that Justice LN Rao who was earlier hearing the pleas had retired, the CJI directed to list them before a bench presided by Justice Chandrachud.

The petition was filed by an organisation of lawyers called “All India Association of Jurists” challenging the decision of the Uttarakhand High Court to revert to complete physical hearings, without hybrid option.

It was contended that the High Courts of Uttarakhand, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala were not providing joining links for attending cases through virtual mode.

The petition argued that the denial of access to the facility of hearing cases through virtual mode is akin to denial of Fundamental Rights under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

In view of this the same mandamus was sought against the Registrar Generals of the 4 High Courts.

During the hearings, Justice Nageswara Rao had orally remarked that physical hearing should be the norm and virtual hearing can be resorted to only during exceptional circumstances.