The Delhi District and Sessions Judge (HQ) issued an advisory on 29.03.2020, requesting advocates and litigants to address arguments through video conference as a precaution due to prevalent COVID-19 pandemic which would minimize the scope of physical interaction between the judicial Officers on duty and other stakeholders. It was clarified that the procedure should be adopted only with consent of all stakeholders, and hearings may be allowed only in cases of extreme urgency. The circular stated that only after the Administrative Officer (Judicial) (AO(J)) is satisfied that a matter is of extreme urgency, the advocates or the litigants shall be asked to send complete paperbook, in case of bail or stay applications and other documents in pdf format to the e-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org, which shall be under the control of the AO(J). Furthermore, if the advocate/litigant agrees to address arguments through videoconferencing, AO(J) shall fix time, preferably the next day and shall communicate the same to the judicial Officers on duty as well as the prosecutor concerned over phone as well as by e-mail. On the day and time fixed for hearing, the Judicial Officer shall log in to Zoom application and shall send the URL to the Advocate/ Litigant/ Prosecutor through Zoom itself, on receipt whereof the party should join the videoconferencing. Further steps for uploading of order were also stipulated in the said circular. It was clarified in the end that the procedure stipulated in the circular shall be adopted only with consent of all stakeholders and that hearings may be allowed only in cases of extreme urgency.
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