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In possible first, Saket district court allows advocate to serve by email

Saket: Leading the way, digitally
Saket: Leading the way, digitally
Delhi’s Saket district court took the lead among Indian district courts on 31 July in allowing emailed service of process.

Gaggar & Associates associate Abhimanyu Chopra had moved an application in the Saket court seeking permission for his client to serve summons by email on a defendant residing in Spain. Chopra had cited a September 2010 circular of the Supreme Court (SC), after an apex court order of July 2010, and a February 2011 notification of the Delhi HC in support.

The SC had stated in its circular that “in commercial litigation and in those cases where the advocate(s) seek urgent interim reliefs, service of notice(s) may be effected by E-mail, in addition to normal mode of service”. The Delhi HC notification set out the acceptable manner of serving processes by email.

Additional district judge VK Maheshwari allowed Chopra’s application on 31 July.

Chopra, who is also an advisor to the member judges of Delhi high court’s computer committee that assists in setting up e-courts in Delhi, said that while it had become common for high courts to allow emailed service – the Delhi high court having set up an e-committee in 2007 - he added that he believed Saket was the first district court to do so, with only Delhi’s district courts currently being sufficiently technologically advanced to deal with it.

Chopra noted that district courts in Delhi were currently in the process of training court officers on operating e-courts, with one room in each district court dedicated to such training.

The Delhi high court has already provided for electronic filing of matters and has made e-filing mandatory for tax, company and arbitration benches, according to the HC’s website. By a December 2011 notification it facilitated obtaining certified copies of judgments online, instead of waiting a week for the hard copy.

The Bombay high court is reportedly preparing to inaugurate its first e-court on Thursday 15 August 2013.

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