Gujarat HC permits use of electronic devices such as Mobile Phone, Laptop or Tablet at NCLT Ahmedabad during Hearings

Gujarat High Court Grants Permission for Electronic Devices in NCLT Proceedings
Gujarat High Court - NCLT - NCLT Ahmedabad - Electronic Devices Court Hearings - Gujarat High Court NCLT Ahmedabad - TAXSCAN

A Single Bench of Gujarat High Court, composed of Justice Vaibhavi D. Nanavati, allowed the use of electronic devices during court hearings before the National Company Law Tribunal ( NCLT ) in Ahmedabad.

The case, filed by petitioner Nipun Praveen Singhvi against the National Company Law Tribunal, was represented by Percy Kavina, a learned Senior Counsel, along with Vishal J Dave. The petitioner sought the court’s intervention under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, urging the court to permit the use of electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and notebooks during NCLT proceedings.

Kavina argued that the NCLT, Bench No.2, had issued a notice outside the courtroom, prohibiting the use of mobile phones and electronic devices. This, according to the petitioner, adversely affected the efficiency of both the Bar and the Bench, as electronic gadgets have become indispensable tools for legal professionals in the current technological era.

Citing a precedent set by the Supreme Court in the case of Sarvesh Mathur v. The Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court ( W.P. (Cri.) No. 351/2023 ), Kavina emphasized the essential role of technology in securing access to courtrooms and justice for citizens across the country.

The Supreme Court, in its order dated 6th October 2023, highlighted the necessity for the legal fraternity to embrace technology, stressing that access to justice should not be restricted based on outdated practices.

In response to the arguments presented by Kavina, Justice Vaibhavi D. Nanavati issued an order directing respondent No.1 ( NCLT ) to modify the notice that prohibited the use of electronic devices during court proceedings. The court emphasized the importance of creating a technologically adept and friendly environment, in line with the directives from the Apex Court.

As an ad-interim relief, the Gujarat High Court ordered NCLT, Ahmedabad, to permit the use of electronic devices, such as laptops and tablets, during proceedings, subject to further orders from the court. The court also remarked that, while allowing technology incorporation in judicial proceedings, maintaining the decorum of courts was of utmost importance.

This ruling is expected to have a positive impact on the legal fraternity, allowing lawyers, litigants, and the court itself to leverage technology for a more efficient and accessible justice system.

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