On Tuesday, 28 July 2020, The Supreme Court of India has stated that, from now on, Advocates- on- Record and the Party- in- Person will have to submit a soft copy of the petition as well as the associated papers, apart from the physical filing of the Supreme Court Registry filing counter.
The circular released states, “Filing of e-Copy shall be a mandatory requirement for the listing of the matter before the Hon'ble Courts.” It has been stated that the filing of the petition and the accompanying documents in a physical form and the notification of defects shall be in compliance with the current procedure.
At the time of refiling, however, once all the defects have been corrected, Advocates- On- Record / Party- in- Person, in addition to the hard copy to be filed at the filing counter, would be required to file a soft copy of the petition and the accompanying documents. The soft copy is required to be sent to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject of the email shall clearly state "Soft copy of the petition and the accompanying documents in Diary No…" and the text of email shall contain the verification, as prescribed. An undertaking to conform to this requirement must be enclosed with a refiled hard copy. The additional registrar (I- B) shall acknowledge receipt of a soft copy of the petition and the accompanying documents through return email. Moreover, the Supreme Court lowered the printing charges from Rs.1.50 per page (Rs. 6/-for four copies) to 0.75 per page (Rs. 3 for four copies) in cases filed via e- filing, with effect from tomorrow, i.e. 28 July 2020. The Supreme Court of India on 23 March 2020 said that there will be no more physical hearing of cases amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Supreme Court stated, “The Court will conduct video-conferencing to hear extremely urgent matters and a bench of two judges will be available for this.” Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde said, “I will take a call by today itself on possible shutdown or preponing summer vacation, as demanded by lawyer bodies.” In addition, the Supreme Court ordered the chambers of lawyers inside the Court premises to be closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The Apex Court stated, “All lawyers' chambers in and around SC premises to be sealed by Tuesday evening” The Supreme Court of India has stated that there will be no further in-person hearings before further directions have been given. The Court must conduct video-conferencing in order to hear the most urgent cases and a bench of two judges will be available for this reason. The Supreme Court Bar Association and the Supreme Court Advocates- On- Record Association both passed resolutions asking the Chief Justice to halt the operation of the Supreme Court. In the meanwhile, the Supreme Court has barred any meeting of lawyers in the top court premises until further directions have been given. All proximity cards (entry cards) to dissuade attorneys from coming to court are expected to be canceled. [Read Circular]