Lawyers want regular court proceedings in TN, Madras HC hesitant

Chennai, Jun 2 (PTI): The Madras High Court authorities are apprehensive about resuming open court hearings despite pressure from various quarters including the Bar Council in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu.

The court has however, been continuing hearings only through video conferencing as per the decision of the administrative committee of judges of the High Court under Chief Justice AP Sahi.

Sources said the administrative committee which meets regularly is seized of views of various advocates associations and the Bar Council that advocates were unable to present their cases in an effective manner through the video conference system.

Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Chairman P S Amalraj thanked Justice TS Sivagnanm, who heads the e- Committee for taking tireless efforts to set up this e-filing system for advocates and the litigant public.

He, however, said that nearly 98 per cent of the advocates were not comfortable with the virtual court hearings.

Amalraj said there were problems with regard to audio and video quality of hearings, which resulted in advocates not being able to effectively put forth their arguments.

'Many of the advocates are not well equipped with knowledge of the use of computers and hence they are unable to participate in the process effectively,' Amalraj said and stressed for open court proceedings.

Meanwhile, the High Court Registry issued a notification on Tuesday introducing six-day working week.

The change was required as the workload would increase heavily in the high court and subordinate courts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry which have been working with reduced staff due to the coronavirus lockdown, it said.PTI COR SS PTI PTI