SC Stays Calcutta HC Order, Allows Ailing Litigant to Appear Virtually

SC Stays Calcutta HC Order, Allows Ailing Litigant to Appear Virtually

Noting that the litigant, who is suffering from ailments, can appear via a virtual medium when the High Court offers such a facility, the Supreme Court on Monday (May 20) granted relief by staying the Calcutta High Court's order, which had mandated the litigant's personal appearance.

The Vacation Bench, consisting of Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma, questioned the Calcutta High Court's order that required the petitioner's personal appearance on the next hearing date, May 22, 2024, noting that their presence was not necessary for the case.

“We are also at loss to comprehend as to why despite the advancement of science and technology and with the introduction of facilities for virtual hearing in the High Courts, the Court did not consider it desirable to grant liberty to the two petitioners to appear before it through the virtual mode.”, the court said.

"The impugned order is bound to operate harshly against the petitioners. We expect the Court to exercise restraint unless a party repeatedly breaches its orders, undermining the Court's dignity, prestige, and majesty, thereby attracting contempt jurisdiction. Judicious exercise of discretion could have prevented these proceedings from reaching this Court," the court observed.

Based on the above premise, the court stayed the operation of the order requiring the personal appearance of both petitioners on May 22, 2024, and granted them the liberty to appear before the High Court through a virtual mode.


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