BCI to consult advocates on resumption of regular hearings in courts

New Delhi [India], May 21 (ANI): In its meeting held on Wednesday, the General Council of Bar Council of India (BCI) has decided to consult senior and other advocates of Supreme Court, all High Courts and District Court Bar Associations in order to gather opinion regarding the resumption of regular hearings in the courts.

The press statement of BCI stated that the Council has been receiving complaints of 'pick and choose' in fixation of the urgent matters in some High Courts. It has also received complaints about frequent disturbances in the video conference hearing due to 'unsatisfactory Wi-Fi' and other technical problems which are a common phenomenon.

We cannot expect an effective hearing in this process. The public and Advocates are in the dark as to what is really going on in the various Courts of the country, the BCI said in its statement.

"Moreover, in the opinion of some of the biggest Bar Associations and several Advocates of Supreme Court and High Courts, some people are trying to take undue advantage of lockdown and the legal profession is gradually being attempted to be hijacked by a few blessed lawyers and selected Law-firms who have high-level connections," the BCI stated.

"The entire system is likely to go out of hands of common Advocates. In such a situation, the Supreme Court and High Courts cannot shut their eyes and the Bar Council of India would approach the Chief Justice of India and Chief Justice of High Courts to request them to take note of the real difficulties. It is humbly submitted, that without consulting the Bar and without taking the Bar into confidence if any decision is taken, the same is not going to succeed," it added.

The BCI further said that it has therefore decided to hold an opinion poll through State Bar Councils and Bar Associations, and for this purpose, all State Bar Councils have been requested to contact the leaders of all Bar Associations and submit their reports to Bar Council of India at the earliest.

The reports of Bar Associations and State Bar Councils should also suggest the necessary safety measures and safeguards to be adopted and followed by the Courts, court staff, Advocates and Litigants, at the respective places, if physical court hearings begin.

The BCI added that the Council will make a desirable request and submit appropriate demand to the Chief Justice of India after discussing the reports to be received from State Bar Councils and Bar Associations. The feasibility of holding physical courts, the methods of listing and hearing, while maintaining social distancing in court premises, will all be deliberated upon and the conclusion will be conveyed to Chief Justice of India within a week. (ANI)