Advocates/ Parties should not appear from kitchens, dining halls, lawns, vehicles: Karnataka High Court issues new guidelines for VC hearing

While appearing through video conference, lawyers should not indulge in activities not befitting the court decorum like eating food, attending phone calls, chatting with children or sleeping, it further said.

Failure by advocates to adhere strictly to the protocol for attending video conference hearings has prompted the Karnataka High Court to come up with ‘new video conference guidelines’.

A notification to that effect was issued on Tuesday stating that advocates appearing before the Court in a casual manner have affected the functioning of court proceedings.

“Hearing of cases through video conference replaces open court hearing. Hence, even during the course of video conferencing hearing, decorum applicable to court hall hearing shall be followed,” it emphasised.

The new guidelines have therefore strictly barred lawyers and litigants from participating in video conference hearings from “kitchen, dining hall, lawn, vehicle or place which has public nuisance etc”.

“They should participate in the video conference hearing by sitting at a place that is consistent with the dignity and decorum of the Courts,” it added.

They shall not indulge in activities not befitting the court decorum like eating food, attending phone calls, chatting with children or sleeping, it further said.

The following are the new guidelines issued by the High Court:

Hearing of cases through video conference replaces open court hearing. Hence, even during the course of video conference hearing, decorum applicable to court hall hearing shall be followed.

Before joining the video conference, the advocates, parties-in-person and the person/s permitted to appear through VC shall ensure that proper video conferencing equipments are available with them. They shall also ensure the availability of proper bandwidth in their network.

The advocates, while appearing in the VC shall wear the proper robes as prescribed.

Parties appearing in person and the person/s permitted to appear through VC shall also be decently dressed considering the dignity and decorum of the Court.

Advocates, parties-in-person, and the person/s permitted to appear through VC shall not make their appearance from any place like, kitchen, dining hall, lawn, vehicle or place which has public nuisance etc., They should participate in the video conference hearing by sitting at a place that is consistent with the dignity and decorum of the Courts.

While other cases are being heard, they shall mute their audio and video and un-mute only when their case is taken up for hearing.

They shall not indulge in any activities not befitting to the Court decorum such as attending the phone calls, eating the foodstuff, sleeping, chatting with children and other family members, and the clients like.

Advocates, parties-in-person and the person/s permitted to appear through video conference, shall as far as possible, avoid using cell phones for attending hearing.

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