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Delhi HC notifies rules to streamline video conferencing system

ANI | Updated: Jun 01, 2020 23:29 IST

New Delhi [India], June 1 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday notified the 'Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts 2020' that came into force from June 1 (Monday) amid the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
As per the High Court's rules, there shall be no unauthorised recording of the proceedings by any person or entity.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-Rule (i), Rule 1 of Chapter I of "High Court of Delhi Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts 2020", the Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi has been pleased to appoint the 1st day of June 2020, as the date from which the "High Court of Delhi Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts 2020" shall come into force," said a circular issued by Registrar General Manon Jain.
The High Court said that all proceedings conducted by a court via video conferencing shall be judicial proceedings and all the courtesies and protocols applicable to a physical court shall apply to these virtual proceedings.
The protocol provided in Schedule I shall be adhered to for proceedings conducted by way of video conferencing.
The High Court further said all relevant statutory provisions applicable to judicial proceedings including provisions of the CPC, CrPC, Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Evidence Act), and Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act), shall apply to proceedings conducted by video conferencing.
"Subject to maintaining independence, impartiality and credibility of judicial proceedings, and subject to such directions as the High Court may issue, courts may adopt such technological advances as may become available from time to time," the HC said.
HC further added that the Rules as applicable to a court shall mutatis mutandis apply to a commissioner appointed by the court to record evidence and to an inquiry officer conducting an inquiry.
The equipment recommended for conducting proceedings by video conferencing is desktop, laptop, mobile devices with internet connectivity and printer. Other equipment required are device ensuring uninterrupted power supply, camera, microphones, speakers, display unit, document visualizer; provision of a firewall, adequate seating arrangements ensuring privacy, adequate lighting; and availability of a quiet and secure space.
According to rules, all participants shall wear sober attire consistent with the dignity of the proceedings. Advocates shall be appropriately dressed in professional attire prescribed under the Advocates Act, 1961.

Moreover, police officials shall appear in the uniform prescribed for police officials under the relevant statute or orders. "The attire for judicial officers and court staff will be as specified in the relevant rules prescribed in that behalf by the High Court. The decision of the Presiding Judge or officer as to the dress code will be final," it added.
Proceedings shall be conducted at the appointed date and time, and punctuality shall be scrupulously observed, the rules said.

According to new norms, the case will be called out and appearances shall be recorded on the direction of the court. Every participant shall adhere to the courtesies and protocol that are followed in a physical court. Judges will be addressed as "Madam/Sir" or "Your Honour".
Officers will be addressed by their designation such as "Bench Officer/Court Master". Further, advocates will be addressed as "Learned Counsel/Senior Counsel". Advocates, required persons, parties in person and other participants shall keep their microphones muted till they are called upon to make submissions. (ANI)