Delhi High Court Allows Video Conferencing for Cross-Examination of Outstation Witnesses in Commercial Cases

LI Network

Published on: October 22, 2023 at 10:45 IST

The Delhi High Court has ruled that in commercial cases, cross-examination of overseas or outstation witnesses who cannot travel for genuine reasons can be recorded through video conferencing.

This decision comes as an effort to prevent protracted cross-examinations and undue inconvenience to witnesses, particularly those traveling from foreign countries.

Justice Prathiba M Singh emphasized the importance of ensuring that cross-examinations are conducted efficiently and that overseas or outstation witnesses are not repeatedly called to court. The Commercial Courts are now empowered to set time limits for cross-examinations, preventing unreasonable delays and inconvenience to the witnesses.

Additionally, the court stated that if genuine and bona fide reasons prevent overseas or outstation witnesses from traveling, cross-examinations can be recorded through video conferencing, following the prescribed procedure.

The Registrar General of the High Court has been directed to circulate this order to all District Judges, Commercial court judges, and district courts in the national capital.

Justice Singh addressed the issue of lengthy and unproductive filing of documents, the excessive number of witnesses, and the unnecessary inconvenience caused to outstation or overseas witnesses in commercial suits. She stressed the need to avoid such practices, which have become a problem in commercial litigation.

The court also considered the denial of public documents, such as trademark registrations and records from the Registrar of Companies, during legal proceedings.

While acknowledging the importance of scrutinizing the genuineness and authenticity of documents, the court emphasized that parties should not be allowed to make blanket denials of publicly accessible documents like trademark registrations and Registrar of Companies records.


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