With virtual proceedings, Supreme Court has become true national court: SC
The Supreme Court on Friday said that through its virtual proceedings it has become a true national court, as lawyers and litigants can appear before it from anywhere in the country.
It said that soon the court is proposing to create infrastructure for live streaming of court proceedings from its server instead of a third party server.
The remarks were made by a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant during the hearing of a plea filed by advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay challenging the Bombay High Court circular, which had restricted the working hours of the court from 12 pm to 3 pm due to COVID-1 pandemic.
The bench told advocate Subhash Jha, appearing for one of the parties, We believe you are arguing from Mumbai. Through virtual hearing people are appearing in the Supreme Court from anywhere in the country. We have become a national court in true sense .
Justice Chandrachud, who also heads the E-Committee of the Supreme Court said, We are soon going to bring out a vision document for Phase 3 of the E-Courts project. We need to create infrastructure first for live streaming from our own server instead of a third-party server .
He said that many High Courts like Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh have started live streaming but the problem is that not every High Court has the requisite infrastructure and they have problems of their own kind.
Upadhyay submitted that it would be a great relief if pandemic or no pandemic, the court should operate virtually.
The bench said that it cannot give directions to a High Court Chief Justice that all courts should operate only in the virtual platform only.
"The High Courts are not subordinate to us. Every High Court has very peculiar conditions within their own jurisdiction. I have practised in that High Court and have been a judge there. The staff in Mumbai come from very long distances. My own private secretary used to get up at 6 am to reach court at 9.30 pm and then leave at 5.30 pm to reach home at 9.30pm. There are difficulties and very different conditions in Mumbai , Justice Chandrachud said.
Jha said that the functioning of the courts through virtual platforms could be a better solution as it happens in Western Countries.
Justice Surya Kant said that there are all administrative issues and every High Court deals with them in their own way, depending on the facts and circumstances.
If you have any problem, grievances or a suggestion, you go and meet the concerned chief justice of the High Court and tell them what you require , Justice Surya Kant said. The bench was then apprised that now Bombay High Court has reverted to its old timing of 10.30 am to 4.30 pm working hours and thereafter it disposed of the petition saying that the main grievance of the petitioner is addressed.