e-Filing in Supreme Court of India

By Team Legal Helpline India, April 17, 2020

IMPORTANT: For making urgent mentioning of any matter for e filing in Supreme Court of India, send the us the details on mail. We will make an assessment and get back immediately.

Supreme Court of India is the apex court of country and it has original, appellate jurisdiction wherein thousands of cases are filed under various categories. Most the cases as filed before Supreme Court of India are on the appellate side which are mostly against the orders of High Courts or appellate tribunals or some statutory appeals. Since Supreme Court of India is the final court, the access of common man for filing his petition before the Supreme Court of India is now given through e filing as well through online legal services which is a new horizon.

There was no E Filing in Supreme Court of India so all cases were being filed in hard copies in the Registry of court in the fixed formats and were scrutinized and then listed before the court after removing all defects. This was mainly manual as a result of which, lot of time is wasted before listing the matter before the court very often.

This system was however being followed in a rigorous manner to prevent any mischief or manipulation in the process but with the growing implementation of the e court project and keeping in view the requirements of the time, the court has slowly allowed  E Filing in Supreme Court of India.

In view of the ongoing sudden lockdown due to Corona Virus since March, 23, 2020, e filing in Supreme Court of India has been allowed now by prescribing the standard operating process . At present as per the notification issued by the Supreme Court of India, only very urgent cases can be filed through the e filing in Supreme Court of India and can be listed and heard through video conferencing only by the judges. This crisis has thus initiated the much awaited e filing in Supreme Court of India which is expected to be followed even during the normal times as well.

THE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE OF E FILING IN SUPREME COURT OF INDIA:

E filing in Supreme Court of India at present has been allowed for only matters involving extreme urgency, to be decided by the Presiding Judge designated for the purposes. Bench considers it on the basis of prayer made by Advocate-on-Record/Party-in-person by way of a signed and verified mentioning-application containing a synopsis of extreme urgency not exceeding one page, similar to the urgency affidavit filed during Court Vacation periods.

In all matters involving extreme urgency for E Filing in Supreme Court of India the Advocate-on Record/Party-in-person is first required to file the petition/miscellaneous application, preferably through the e-filing mode available on the Supreme Court website, as per procedure elaborated at the link https://main.sci.gov.in/php/FAQ/5_6246991526434439183.pdf.

Upon completion of all the formalities, as per rules governing such petition/ miscellaneous application, and upon its due registration the Advocate-on-Record/Party-in-person is permitted to send separately the signed and verified mentioning-application containing a synopsis of extreme urgency not exceeding one page for the purposes of E Filing in Supreme Court of India.

MENTIONING APPLICATION FOR E FILING IN SUPREME COURT OF INDIA:

The mentioning-application for E Filing in Supreme Court of India shall be submitted only by e-mail at the email address mention.sc@sci.nic.in. Mentioning application received by 5 PM, two days’ preceding the date of hearing shall be processed for such date. The mentioning-applications received thereafter would be processed for the next date of hearing.

The mentioning-application for the E Filing in Supreme Court of India must inter-alia clearly contain the case-details and contact-details of the Advocate-on-Record/Party in-person like e-mail ID, mobile number with alternate number(s), camp/office address stating Pin Code and Police Station with all other particulars;

The mentioning-application for e filing in Supreme Court of India shall include a separate paragraph with a prayer for exemption from filing duly affirmed affidavit in the prevailing circumstances, together with an undertaking to the effect that physical copies of documents relied upon in the petition, deficit court fees or other charges, if any, shall be filed at the earliest;

Parties shall not be permitted to rely upon any document other than the documents   filed along with the petition/misc. application in conformity with the rules; in the E  Filing in Supreme Court of India;

For E Filing in Supreme Court of India the  mentioning-application must also contain a separate paragraph giving consent that the matter may be taken up through the video-conferencing mode;

In the mentioning-application, the Advocate-on-Record/Party-in-Person must specify as to whether he would link to the Bench by video-conferencing through own desktop/laptop/ mobile phone or would prefer to appear at the video-conference facility in the Supreme Court premises; in this regard, parties may kindly note that desktop/laptop/tablet computers provide stable connectivity for a video-conference, whereas signal drop/incoming call on mobile devices can delink such devices from an ongoing video-conference disrupting such VC;

After the E Filing in Supreme Court of India  and upon the  approval of the urgency by the Competent Authority, the case(s) would be listed before the Bench in due course;

In case the application praying for listing on grounds of extreme urgency is declined, the AOR/Party-in-Person would be intimated through e-mail. Re-mentioning of case through landline phone at the residence of His Lordship or otherwise will not be permitted;

In a matter, where a Senior Advocate/ Arguing Counsel may appear and conduct the hearing, the Advocate-on-Record is required to additionally indicate the contact details of the Senior Advocate/Arguing Counsel, in the mentioning application for the E Filing in Supreme Court of India;

 In a matter where the litigant seeks to view the proceedings, the Advocate-on record may additionally indicate the contact details of the litigant, in the mentioning-application for E Filing in Supreme Court of India;

Only two appearance-links will be provided per party, together with one viewing-link that may be provided for the litigant separately; hence, it is expected that request of such links, if any, should be clearly made in the mentioning-application to enable the Registry to provide the links in time at each point, at the time of the hearing. Any exceptions to the prescribed procedure, if supported by cogent and sufficient reasons, may by placed before competent authority in the E Filing in Supreme Court of India .

CONDUCT OF CASE THROUGH VIDEO CONFERENCING

The cases are to be heard only through web-based video-conferencing system on the VIDYO platform hosted on the servers of National Data Centre of National Informatics Centre, Govt. of India. It may be further noted that smooth functioning of the video-conference is squarely dependent upon and subject to the connectivity such as the  signal-strength/bandwidth available at the end of the remote user(s).

It is for the party on the other end   joining a video-conference  to  ensure robust connectivity and bandwidth are available at their end – in this regard, parties may use broadband connection of minimum 2 mbps/dedicated 4G data connection, and may also ensure that no other device or application is connected to or using the bandwidth when the hearing by video-conferencing is progressing on their Vidyo-enabled computer (preferable) or mobile.

THE PROCESS FOR USING THE VIDYO PLATFORM AFTER E FILING IN SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Parties are required to  download VIDYO DESKTOP application from the site http://ecourtvc.nic.in   on their laptop or desktop on any compatible operating system.

All other parties may join the video conferencing on VIDYO platform by downloading the VIDYO MOBILE application in a compatible mobile device (phone or tablet) either from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details? id=com.vidyo. VidyoClient Google Play Store (Android device) or from https://apps.apple.com/us/app/vidyomobile/id444062464 Apple  APP Store(iOS device), on the same mobile number as mentioned in their contact-details in mentioning-application;

The Invitation Link for appearance and viewing, as the case may be, will be sent by the Registry to the given mobile no(s)/e-mail id(s) by SMS/e-mail/WhatsApp around half-an-hour before the scheduled hearing, and parties may kindly note that each of the link so sent to any device is required to be unique and hence, parties may not share or forward such link(s) to any other device nor shall they enable others to join the hearing through video conference;

Party concerned will be advised to click on the link provided, as received on their computer (preferable) or mobile device, upon which a window as depicted below in PIC 2 shall open; thereafter, the party is required to click on the “Join Conference” button;

Upon clicking the “Join Conference” button, a ‘VIDYO’ display window as depicted in PIC 3 below shall open, prompting the party to enter the display name before clicking

“Join” button; the party is required to write his/her name with designation by prefixing item no.(of the cause list) in the space given  thereafter the party is required to click on the ‘JOIN” button; PIC 2 PIC 3.

After having clicked on the ‘JOIN’ button, as in PIC 3 above, the party would join other parties in a virtual waiting room, and parties would be required to wait patiently for being joined to the virtual Court room for their respective hearing;

Upon being joined to the virtual Court room, arguing counsel shall introduce himself to the Hon’ble Bench and thereafter, shall wait for the instructions from Hon’ble Bench – on being asked, party may make submissions and on completion of the submissions, shall at once ‘mute’ the MIC of the respective device, if the Hon’ble Bench requires the party to make further submission(s), the party may then ‘unmute’ the MIC of the device and again, on completion of the submission, put the MIC on ‘mute’ mode;

It is important for parties to remember to keep their MIC on ‘mute’ at all times, except when the Bench requires them to make submission(s); thus, when one party is making submissions, it is imperative that all other participants shall keep their respective MIC muted failing which the possibility of MIC catching audio feed from the speakers and creating `echo/noise disturbance’ would become very high and may disturb the video conference;

It may be noted that simultaneous submissions by more than one party at any given time should be avoided and each party may indicate requirement to speak/submit by asking for permission from Bench, by raising a hand. Once permitted by the Bench, the party shall first ‘un mute’ the MIC and thereafter make submissions.

During hearing through video-conferencing, the parties may kindly keep in mind that they are participating in COURT PROCEEDINGS, and hence it is expected that they would not resort to any indecorous conduct or dress or comment; further, parties are required to ensure that the proceedings by video conference are neither recorded/stored nor broadcast, in any manner whatsoever, as recording/copying/storing and/or broadcasting, by any means, of the hearings and proceedings before the Supreme Court of India are expressly prohibited;

 Parties are required to stay online till the Bench concludes the hearing of their matter, whereafter the parties may disconnect from video-conference;

After the publication of the cause-list, the Registry may call any party and require to test the device or its connectivity, and every such party is required to cooperate with such staff/official and abide by the instructions given, so that the hearing by video conference may be smoothly conducted;

After publication of cause list, a WhatsApp group may be created by the Registry before the hearing of the matters where the participants may raise any query related to video conferencing. That apart, the parties may contact the mentioning Helpline Telephone Numbers 011-23381463 and 011-23111428, as per procedure mentioned through the Circular dated 07.04.2020 available on the website of Supreme Court of India.

ATTENTION: We have team of highly expert Supreme Court lawyers for all online legal services of e filing in Supreme Court of India. Send us the details on mail for quick assessment.

Whether e filing in Supreme Court of India possible?

Yes, E filing in Supreme Court of India is very much possible now and allowed.

How can I file a petition in Supreme Court of India?

The detailed process of e filing in Supreme Court of India is described on the website of Supreme Court of India at the link at https://main.sci.gov.in/php/FAQ/5_6246991526434439183.pdf.

Whether hearing of case through Video Conferencing is possible now in Supreme Court of India?

Yes, after the e filing of petition, the court can have the hearing of the court through video conferencing now.

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