On 26 October 2020, a Trial Court had directed the listing of a matter for physical hearing. Aggrieved from the order of the Trial Court, an Advocate moved the Delhi High Court.
The main contentions set out by the advocate were that his application for hearing through virtual mode has been dismissed on the ground that as lengthy arguments may be advanced by the parties, hearing through video conferencing is not possible. In the application for virtual hearing, it was submitted that the family members of the counsel for the petitioner are vulnerable senior citizens and in the present pandemic situation it would not be possible for the counsel to physically appear before the Trial Court and thus the applications were filed for taking up their case for virtual hearing.
In the hearing of the case, the Delhi High Court set out a rule that an Advocate cannot be asked to appear physically unless the advisory is modified by the High Court while considering the advisories issued by the High Court amid COVID -19 Pandemic.
The single-Judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva stated, "In view the advisories issued by the High Court, petitioner cannot be asked to appear physically unless the advisory is modified by the High Court, however, recently the High Court has issued a fresh advisory that in case parties do not appear even through virtual mode even after being intimated, the Trial Court is free to proceed in accordance with law."
While disposing of the application, Delhi High Court observed that the suit pending before the Trial Court is for restoration of a suit only. It directed the Trial Court to take up the suit for consideration through virtual mode. The Delhi High Court also directed the Trial Court to expedite the proceedings in the matter. [Read Judgment]