Supreme Court says, All Courts Should Have Hybrid System For Hearing Cases

Hybrid Court System

The Supreme Court in the case I.S. Inbadurai vs Appavu observed and has verbally expressed that all courts in the country need to have in place wherein we have a hybrid system for hearing the cases. The bench comprising of Justice SK Kaul and Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, wherein it has been stated by Senior Advocate P Wilson that the regional benches of the Supreme Court are necessary for the benefit of litigants.

In the said case the bench relied that with the technology that has developed now, this has lost significance. Thus, the people are regularly appearing before the court virtually from all over the country. Therefore, the only thing which is being important is every court must be mandated to work with a hybrid system. Thus, whosoever wants to appear will be able to do so.

However, Currently, the Supreme Court as well as certain High Courts in the country function in a hybrid mode-where advocates and an option is available to the litigants to either be physically present before the court or appear virtually. The bench was informed by the counsel, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi that the Bombay and Gujarat High Courts don’t have this facility anymore.

It has been stated by the Senior Advocate counsel that, I requested the Chief Justice (in Gujarat) and he said – we don’t have the screens anymore. The bench observed that some matter has to come to us for us to say something. It has also been assured by the Rohatgi, We will bring some matter. In the said case the bench was considering the election petition on the recounting of votes in a 2016 election to the Radhapuram Assembly Constituency. The ex-MLA Inbadurai moved the plea and the court kept the said matter pending and adjourned it while the court observed that this court have better matters to hear now.

The bench headed by Justice Kaul stated while highlighting the importance of a hybrid system stated that it being a great facility. The advocates pointed out that the NCLT, NCLATs are actually working this way. The bench observed that in the beginning we all are sceptical about lawyers sitting and arguing cases from their offices. But now we have learnt. It has been lauded by other senior advocate the Kerala High Court for having a very public-friendly hybrid system in place.

However, it has been informed by the court that there being many request which are made in transfer cases to allow them to appear virtually, unless the court presence was absolutely necessary. Therefore, the bench took the liberty to add that in most countries and people go by the set time frame. It has been observed by the bench during the discussion that the Tribunals in the country should have experts in the respective fields as members.

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About the Author: Ashish Sinha

-Ashish Kumar Sinha -Editor Legally Speaking -Ram Nath Goenka awardee - 14 Years of Experience in Media - Covering Courts Since 2008