BCI to provide videoconferencing facility to lawyers to appear before virtual courts

New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Friday said it will provide videoconferencing facility at its office here to help needy lawyers appear and argue their cases before virtual courts (VCs) from May 26.

The Supreme Court and other courts have been holding VCs and only hearing urgent matters since March 25 when a nationwide lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking note of the difficulties faced by some lawyers in accessing VCs, the BCI said it has prepared four 'videoconferencing or virtual hearing rooms'.

'Bar Council of India has developed four videoconferencing/virtual hearing rooms along with well equipped systems/Wi-Fi for the convenience of advocates of Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court. Nothing will be charged from the advocates for this facility, which is going to start from May 26,' the apex lawyers' body said in a statement.

Advocates will be required to book their time slots at least 36 hours in advance by sending a request through email, it said.

The BCI said, 'Not more than two advocates/persons will be allowed to enter the premises of Bar Council of India for a particular case ideally, however, if both sides come for videoconferencing in one case, then the total number of persons should not exceed four.' 'Advocates would be required to maintain social distancing and wear N95 masks and keep alcohol-based hand sanitisers with them,' it said. PTI SJK DIV DIV