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DHCBA meets today under Rajiv Khosla: Reverse DVD harassment, publicise ‘suspicious judgments’, free lawyer parking, valets & more...

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The Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA), led by newly elected president Rajiv Khosla, is vehemently opposing the Delhi high court’s new rule that has made it mandatory for original jurisdiction litigants to file everything burnt to CDs or DVDs.

The association is also pushing for free parking outside the Delhi high court for lawyers, and wants the court to deploy 12 valet drivers to park lawyers’ vehicles for them.

Further, the DHCBA is calling for “a uniform mechanism” to appoint lawyers and judges to local commissions, arbitrations and mediations to end the monopoly of judges on appointments in each of these.

Khosla told Legally India that the DHCBA will convene its first executive committee meeting since the elections, today at 5pm, on these issues. He said that in subsequent meetings he also plans to propose a website to publish those orders of Delhi high court benches, which are made in a “suspicious manner” of which the general public has no knowledge.

“These judgments are discussed in the canteen but not brought to the notice of the general public. We will consider those judgements as special judgements and put them on the website so that people should know under what circumstances it was passed, how it was passed and who passed it. The aim is also to get rid of corruption in the judicial system,” he said.

CD ROM-ifications

According to a notification on the high court’s website: “It will be mandatory to file soft copy on CD-R/DVD-R in Original side jurisdiction matters w.e.f 1-Feb-20 14 in addition to the existing paper filing of cases.”

Khosla said that the DHCBA executive committee had met with judges and the high court’s registry to discuss putting an end to this rule, but the “unfortunate part is, after having agreed with us 10 days before, still things are not happening”.

“Every day they make one or the other rule. You can have computers, email and e-courts but you can’t force the public to spend money on that. They have made it compulsory for everyone to file through CD. Why CD? Why have they made it so difficult for the public to file cases? They say this is Delhi [and we are following] a model code. In the name of model code they are harassing the public,” he commented.

“Making a CD takes one or two hours. First you have to file a CD, then remove objections then file fresh CD. By that time the time [to file] is over. One Vakalatnama on one CD. Then one application on another CD. You’ll have 20 CDs on the case file. And it is all on file, nothing else. It is not like they use it. It is easier to dispose of the case because they don’t hear it for more than five minutes, but difficult to file it,” he added.

Parking slips

Khosla said that currently employees of the Delhi high court can park their cars for free in the parking outside the court complex, whereas lawyers have to pay parking charges of Rs 50 per day.

“Nowhere in India is it like this. Coming to our workplace we are being made to pay. When we are officers of the court and this facility has been made for the lawyers, there should be free parking for lawyers,” commented Khosla.

“Also there is congestion around high court. They should deploy 12 drivers in the parking lot. It is not possible for lawyers to first go inside the parking then come out. There is underground parking and all that. They have to attend cases immediately,” he added.

Judge Raj

“The [Delhi high court’s] arbitration centre has become a rehabilitation centre for retired judges. They don’t entertain lawyers,” commented Khosla on the practice of only judges being appointed to be arbitrators, mediators and to the local commissions and the company law panel.

“In recording evidence also they only appoint judges. The Arbitration Act was made for the purpose that those who want speedy disposal of cases can go for this mode, but this mode has become so expensive,” he said.

Khosla said that the DHCBA will today discuss asking for a uniform mechanism at the high court to have both lawyers as well as judges enlisted on commissions, panels, and appointed as arbitrators and mediators. “Everyone should get a chance. Whosoever’s name is there in the list,” he said.

He added: “Even the panels are also being given to judges on their own recommendation. Some of the judges are pressurising government panels to give [these appointments] to their sons and daughters. We don’t mind that, but we mind that they are given all the work.”

Khosla won the DHCBA elections by a margin of 1,138 against the closest contender advocate DK Sharma, after putting up a fight in court against his predecessor senior advocate AS Chandhiok, who had brought into force new rules debarring him from contesting or voting in the DHCBA polls.

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