senior counsel Satish Parasaran, representing Sriranganathar Temple management, said he would prefer to contest the case through virtual hearing since his father was an aged person. The senior counsel did not want to take any risk by attending physical hearing of cases.
NEWS CITIES CHENNAI
Mixed response for commencement of physical hearing in HC
Mohamed Imranullah S.
CHENNAI 05 SEPTEMBER 2020 00:03 IST
UPDATED: 05 SEPTEMBER 2020 00:03 IST
There has been a mixed response among lawyers for commencement of partial physical hearing of cases in the Madras High Court from Monday with one section wanting to argue their cases in open court and the other preferring to continue with virtual hearing.
During the hearing of a case before Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha on Friday, a party-in-person, Rangarajan Narasimhan, insisted on physical hearing of his case since he wanted to present certain documents in a sealed cover which could not be done over virtual hearing.
However, senior counsel Satish Parasaran, representing Sriranganathar Temple management, said he would prefer to contest the case through virtual hearing since his father was an aged person. The senior counsel did not want to take any risk by attending physical hearing of cases.
After hearing both of them, the judges decided to list the case before the physical court in the forenoon session and also before the virtual court in the afternoon session on September 10 so that both sides could make their submissions at their convenience.
Advocate Revathi Manivannan said virtual courts were actually hassle free. She pointed out that even cross examination and re-examination of a witness in a civil suit was conducted online by her senior A. Abdul Hameed on Friday without any technical glitches.
Similarly, Justice N. Satish Kumar told a group of lawyers that he too found virtual hearing of cases very comfortable. He had heard arguments even on a criminal appeal through video conference and delivered judgment within a short span of time.
Senior Counsel P.S. Raman concurred with the judge and said that virtual courts were actually very good.
However, P.S. Amalraj, Chairman, Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, begged to differ with them. He claimed that 90% of the lawyers in the State were in favour of physical hearing of cases because only then they would be able to make their submissions effectively.
“Frequent power cuts, absence of seamless Internet connectivity and several other issues make virtual hearing undesirable. Almost all bar associations in the State are in favour of commencing physical hearing of cases. Virtual hearing can be confined only to lawyers above 65 years of age.”
“When the government has permitted all establishments to function, I don’t understand why the High Court alone should begin only partial physical hearing. All judges should begin physical hearing and all advocates should be allowed to access their chambers on a daily basis,” he said.