Delhi High Court of Delhi Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts 2020

High Court of Delhi Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts 2020
High Court of Delhi Rules
HIGH COURT OF DELHI: NEW DELHI
NOTIFICATION
Delhi, the 1st June, 2020

VIDEO CONFERENCE RULES

Preface

No. 325/Rules/DHC—Whereas it is expedient to consolidate, unify and streamline the procedure relating to the use of video conferencing for Courts; and

In exercise of its powers under Articles 225 and 227 of the Constitution of India, the High Court of Delhi makes the following Rules.

Chapter I – Preliminary

1. These Rules shall be called the “High Court of Delhi Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts 2020".
  • (i) These Rules shall apply to such courts or proceedings or classes of courts or proceedings and on and from such date as the High Court may notify in this behalf.
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2. Definitions

In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires:
  • (i) "Advocate" means and includes an advocate entered in any roll maintained under the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961 and shall also include government pleaders/advocates and officers of the department of prosecution.
  • (ii) "Commissioner" means a person appointed as commissioner under the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC), or the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), or any other law in force.
  • (iii) "Coordinator" means a person nominated as coordinator under Rule 5.
  • (iv) "Court" includes a physical Court and a virtual Court or tribunal.
  • (v) "Court Point" means the Courtroom or one or more places where the Court is physically convened, or the place where a Commissioner or an inquiring officer holds proceedings under the directions of the Court.
  • (vi) "Court User" means a user participating in Court proceedings through video conferencing at a Court Point.
  • (vii) "Designated Video Conferencing Software" means software provided by the High Court from time to time to conduct video conferencing.
  • (viii) “Exceptional   circumstances”   include   illustratively   a   pandemic,   natural   calamities, circumstances implicating law and order and matters relating to the safety of the accused and witnesses.
  • (ix) "Live Link" means and includes a live television link, audio-video electronic means or other arrangements whereby a witness, a required person or any other person permitted to remain present, while physically a using technology to give evidence and be cross-examined.
  • (x) "Remote Point" is a place where any person or persons are required to be present or appear through a video
  • (xi) "Remote User" means a user participating in Court proceedings through video conferencing at a Remote Point.
  • (xii) "Required Person" includes:
a. the person who is to be examined; or
b. the person in whose presence certain proceedings are to be recorded or conducted; or
c. an Advocate or a party in person who intends to examine a witness; or
d. any person who is required to make submissions before the Court; or
e. any other person who is permitted by the Court to appear through video conferencing.
  • (xiii) “Rules” shall mean these Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts and any reference to a Rule, Sub-Rule or Schedule shall be a reference to a Rule, Sub-Rule or Schedule of these Rules.
Chapter II - General Principles

3. General Principles Governing Video Conferencing
  • (i) Video conferencing facilities may be used at all stages of judicial proceedings and proceedings conducted by the Court.
  • (ii) All proceedings conducted by a Court via video conferencing shall be judicial proceedings and all the courtesies and protocols applicable to a physical Court shall apply to these virtual proceedings. The protocol provided in Schedule I shall be adhered to for proceedings conducted by way of video conferencing.
  • (iii) All relevant statutory provisions applicable to judicial proceedings including provisions of the CPC, CrPC, Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Evidence Act), and Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act), shall apply to proceedings conducted by video conferencing.
  • (iv) Subject to maintaining independence, impartiality and credibility of judicial proceedings, and subject to such directions as the High Court may issue, Courts may adopt such technological advances as may become available from time to time.
  • (v) The Rules as applicable to a Court shall mutatis mutandis apply to a Commissioner appointed by the Court to recor d evidence and to an inquiry officer conducting an inquiry.
  • (vi) There shall be no unauthorised recording of the proceedings by any person or entity.
  • (vii) The person defined in Rule 2(xii) shall provide identity proof  as recognised by the Government of India/State Government/Union Territory to the Court point coordinator via personal email. In case of identity proof not being readily available the person concerned shall furnish the following personal details: name, parentage and permanent address, as also, temporary address if any.
 4. Facilities recommended for Video Conferencing

The following equipment is recommended for conducting proceedings by video conferencing at the Court Point and the Remote Point:
  • Desktop, Laptop, mobile devices with internet connectivity and printer;
  • Device ensuring uninterrupted power supply;
  • Camera;
  • Microphones and speakers;
  • Display unit;
  • Document visualizer;
  • Provision of a firewall;
  • Adequate seating arrangements ensuring privacy;
  • Adequate lighting; and
  • A vailability of a quiet and secure space.
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5. Preparatory Arrangements

5.1 There shall be a Coordinator both at the Court Point and at the Remote Point from which any Required Person is to be examined or heard. However, Coordinator may be required at the Remote Point only when a witness or a person accused of an offence is to be examined.

5.2 In the civil and criminal Courts falling within the purview of the district judiciary, persons nominated by the High Court or the concerned District Judge, shall perform the functions of Coordinators at the Court Point as well as the Remote Point as provided in Rule 5.3.

5.3 The Coordinator at the Remote Point may be any of the following:

Sub Rule

Where the Advocate or Required Person is at the following Remote Point:-

The Remote Point Coordinator shall be:-

5.3.1

Overseas

An official of an Indian Consulate / the relevant Indian Embassy / the relevant High Commission of India

5.3.2

Court of another state or union territory of India

Any authorized official nominated by the concerned District Judge

5.3.3

Mediation Centre or office of District Legal Services Authority

Any authorized person / official nominated by the Chairperson or Secretary of the concerned District Legal Services Authority.

5.3.4

Jail or prison

The concerned Jail Superintendent or Officer- in-charge of the prison.

5.3.5

Hospitals administered by the Central Government, the State Government or local bodies

Medical Superintendent or an official authorized by them or the person in charge of the said hospital

5.3.6

Observation Home, Special Home, Children's Home, Shelter Home, or any institution referred to as a child facility (collectively referred to as child facilities) and where the Required Person is a juvenile or a child or a person who is an inmate of such child facility.

The Superintendent or Officer in charge of that child facility or an official authorized by them.

5.3.7

Women’s Rescue Homes, Protection Homes, Shelter Homes, Nari Niketans or any institution referred to as a women’s facility (collectively referred to as women’s facilities).

The Superintendent or Officer-in- charge of the women’s facility or an official authorized by them.

5.3.8

In custody, care or employment of any other government office, organization or institution (collectively referred to as institutional facilities).

The Superintendent or Officer-in- charge of the institutional facility or an official authorized by them.

5.3.9

Forensic Science Lab

The Administrative officer-in- charge or their nominee.

5.3.10

In case of any other location

The concerned Court may appoint any person deemed fit and proper who is ready and willing to render services as a Coordinator to ensure that the proceedings are conducted in a fair, impartial and independent manner and according to the directions issued by the Court in that behalf.


5.3.11 Notwithstanding the  provisions of  Clause  5.3.1,  where  witness examination  is to  take  place  in a criminal   case   of   a   person   located   outside   the   country,   the   provisions   of   the   “Comprehensive   Guidelines for  investigation  abroad  and  issue  of  Letters  Rogatory  (LRs)  /  Mutual  Legal  Assistance  (MLA)  Request  and Service of Summons/Notices/ Judicial documents in respect of Criminal Matters” (available at http://164.100.117.97/ WriteReadData/userfiles /ISII_ComprehensiveGuidelinesMutualLegalAssistance_17122019.pdf)   will be followed to the extent they comport with the provisions of the CrPC and the Evidence Act. Furthermore, before the Court employs its discretion to carry out witness examination via video conference, it will obtain the consent of the accused................................................Read also

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