Online Court Hearings Should Stay After COVID-19 Is Over: Senior Lawyer Mukul Rohatgi

The courts are also conducting virtual hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic and only urgent matters are being taken up for now.

Online Court Hearings Should Stay After COVID-19 Is Over: Senior Lawyer Mukul Rohatgi

"The cost of litigation has and can potentially be reduced," Mukul Rohatgi said (File)

New Delhi:

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way lawyers have gone about doing their duties and the cost of litigation has reduced, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said today.

Addressing a session during a webinar on "COVID-19: Constitutional and Legal Conundrums" organised by Bennett University, the former Additional Solicitor General of India dwelled upon the ground realities of justice delivery during the pandemic.

"Judges and lawyers are hearing and arguing cases respectively from their respective residences. The dress code for appearance before the courts has changed. Physical filing has been replaced by e-filing," Mr Rohatgi said.

"Most importantly, the cost of litigation has and can potentially be reduced. One of the key advantages is that the chances of intervention in the process of presenting arguments are far less, an opportunity which can be optimally utilized by the younger lawyers," he said.

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The courts are also conducting virtual hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic and only urgent matters are being taken up for now. For the time when physical court hearings resume in future, Mr Rohatgi proposed an integration of the two systems.

"The new system should remain. Three-four days a week in physical presence and once or twice in the online system. The new system would encourage the lawyers to be precise and concise in their arguments," he said.

Responding to a question on how the urgency of a matter is decided, Mr Rohatgi said, "It is subjective. While urgency in some cases is obvious, some other cases that have been pending for a sufficiently long time fall in the category of urgent cases".