CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has asked the State Bar Council and High Court Bar Association to advise its member lawyers not to breach the decorum and decency in court proceedings while appearing via video conferencing in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
Justice Biswanath Rath sought their intervention after a counsel attempted to argue his case from inside a moving car causing serious interruption in the court proceeding. On asked the advocate explained that since he is to attend a case at Puri, he is rushing to the town and is unable to argue his case from his residence at Cuttack. “This Court seriously condemns the conducting of a case inside a vehicle on road,” Justice Rath said.
The observation came while hearing and dismissing a civil miscellaneous petition.“In the Covid-19 situation, extending arguing place beyond the court premises does not mean permitting one to argue matter inside a vehicle, from his lawn and from his drawing room allowing his wife to join him in the process of proceeding. Counsel should argue at the minimum from his/her home or temporary residence and there should be maintenance of minimum decorum,” Justice Rath observed in August 31 order, a copy of which was available on Thursday.
In the order, Justice Rath said, “In recent past, this Court has some horrible experience while conducting court through video conferencing. First one is when a counsel after finishing his case was joined by his wife even though the video-conference was still on. Even after frequent requests when situation did not improve, the Court from its own side had to disconnect the petitioner’s connection.”
In the second instance, a counsel argued his matter from garden. On query, the counsel said he could not get proper connection from inside his house, which proved to be wrong. He was requested not to repeat it in future. This Court has also observed that some counsel while appearing through video conferencing went on eating.