SC asks lawyers to be physically present in court to argue case

The Supreme Court on Monday emphasised on the physical presence of lawyers during the vacation to argue their matters, rather than using video conferencing facilities.

A vacation bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and B.V. Nagarathna said the judges are coming to the court everyday. “You can also come and argue your cases,” it told a counsel appearing virtually. The bench said that lawyers who argue their cases physically would get its indulgence and adjourned few cases where lawyers appeared virtually.

The bench asked senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi to appear before the court and added that vacation in courts is not for senior lawyers. Singhvi said let there be a uniform rule saying that there should not be an Article 14 violation. At this, the bench replied: “When are you coming to the court?” The bench adjourned the matter after Singhvi replied he would come to the court on Tuesday.

The bench also did not entertain a request for an urgent hearing mentioned by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who was appearing through video conferencing. The bench asked him to appear physically before it and pointed out that other lawyers are present in the courtroom. Rohatgi requested the bench to adjourn the matter for the day after tomorrow. Agreeing to his request, the bench told Rohatgi that if he is busy, then he can ask his colleague to appear before the court physically.

Another counsel, who appeared virtually, cited the top court’s recent circular, which allowed hybrid option — where both physical and virtual is allowed– is provided to the lawyers and litigants. The bench told him to be physically present in the court to argue his matter.

Another lawyer, who had gone to Kerala due to some exigency, requested the bench to allow him to argue the matter through video conferencing, but the judges did not agree. The bench told him: “Come here and argue your case.”




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