SCAORA urges SC to withdraw circular against sharing of video conferencing links

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New Delhi, Nov 16 (PTI) The Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA) has requested the top court to facilitate oral mentioning through video conference and to withdraw its earlier circular warning them of adverse consequences for unauthorised sharing of video conference links to virtual court hearings.

Advocates-on-Record (AOR) is an advocate who is entitled to act as well as to plead for a party in the apex court. No advocate other than an AOR shall be entitled to file an appearance or act for a party in the top court.

The circular issued by the apex court registry on November 6 said that only two appearance links and one viewing link shall be provided to each litigating party. In it's letter written to the Secretary General of Supreme Court on Monday, the SCAORA highlighted the difficulties faced by the lawyers in visibility and hearing during the video conference.

The video-conference hearings are controlled by the SC staff, who take the final call on muting and unmuting the audio and video of anyone participating in virtual hearings.

“There are catena of incidents wherein the audio and video of the concerned AOR/advocates have not been unmuted during the proceedings,” the letter said.

It requested the court to withdraw the notification ”especially with the circumstances for adverse consequences which is totally uncalled for when there are no facilities made available for oral mentioning in the hearing through video conferencing (virtual court) and further issue an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) accordingly to enable oral mentioning of matters in the hearing through video conferencing (virtual court).” “We further request you to generate an additional link to enable access to the AOR/Advocates, to view the proceedings of the court hearing through video conferencing (virtual court) of all courts,” it said.

The apex court had on November 6 warned AORs and in-person petitioners of adverse consequences for unauthorised sharing of video conference links to virtual court hearings. PTI UK SJK RKS RKS