Delhi High Court directs all district courts to allow hybrid hearings for all cases in national capital

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The circular was issued in view of the decision taken by the high court on April 25, 2022.

The Delhi High Court on Monday directed all district courts in the national capital to permit any of the parties or their lawyers to appear through hybrid or video-conferencing mode during court proceedings, without any requirement of a prior request.

“The hearings shall be conducted in hybrid/video-conferencing mode in conformity with the High Court of Delhi Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts, 2021, and also bearing in mind the provisions of the Live Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings Rules of the High Court of Delhi, 2022,” the office order said.

It also stated that the judicial officers, while conducting hearing through hybrid/video conferencing mode, shall ensure that no person other than the parties and the counsel should digitally access or join the proceedings of that particular case.

The particular cases include:

  1. Matrimonial matters, child adoption, and child custody including transfer petitions arising thereunder.
  2. Cases concerning sexual offences, including proceedings instituted under Section 376 of IPC.
  3. Cases concerning gender-based violence against women.
  4. Matters registered under or involving the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
  5. Matters registered under or involving the Medical Termination of Pregnancy, 1971.
  6. In-camera proceedings as defined under Section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or Section 153B, or Order XXXIIA of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
  7. Matters where the bench is of the view, for reasons to be recorded in writing that publication would be antithetical to the administration of justice.
  8. Recording of evidence, including cross-examination.

“Further in a given case, the Court may for reasons to be recorded in writing, direct the parties and/or their Counsel to appear physically where in the opinion of the Court the physical presence of the parties/counsel in the court is required or where the court is otherwise of the opinion that the matter should be heard physically in the court,” the office order added.

“The Ld. Judicial Officers in all the District Courts are requested to strictly adhere to the aforesaid directions”, the office order read.

The circular was issued in view of the decision taken by the full court of the High Court on April 25, 2022.