New Delhi [India], Aug 13 (ANI): The Bar Council of India has requested the Union and state governments to provide basic Ipads/laptops to all needy advocates of the country for the purposes of e-filing and virtual hearings from their homes, offices.
It has also requested provision of free and effective WiFi connections in the premises of all the Bar Associations of the country with advanced scanners and advanced computer systems of a minimum of at least two in all district courts, four in all High courts and 1 in Taluk courts Bar Associations'.
The Bar Council of India in its meeting has also requested the Supreme Court and High Courts to take early steps to resume hearings in open courts depending on the prevailing conditions of the places. Physical hearings may be resumed in places where COVID-19 cases are lesser and the situation appears to be normal and under control.
The District Judges should take steps to resume physical hearings after laying down and making efforts for ensuring the effective norms of social distancing, sanitization of court-rooms, and Bar Associations buildings (twice daily) should be ensured. In the meantime, virtual hearings should start and/or continue, Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman Bar Council of India said through a statement.
Supreme Court and High courts have been requested to provide trainers to train advocates about e-filings for a period of four weeks in every District and Taluka court, and for two weeks in High Courts, BCI stated.
It also added that data fiber connectivity, internet connectivity is not uniform throughout the country. There are many areas where internet connectivity in itself is very poor and slow and in many remote places, there is no connectivity at all.
"We cannot ignore the fact, that India is a vast country and majority of advocates live in rural and semi-rural and semi-urban areas, and leaving aside metro cities and A category urban cities, rest of the cities and areas have internet connectivity issues, Moreover, the cost of usage is one extremely pertinent factor which can in no way be overlooked," it said. (ANI)