Rajasthan HC: Use the E-Filing Method to Address Urgent Matters Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Rajasthan HC has ordered the use of e-filing method for urgent matters. This is in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same has been since the disease continues to wreak havoc on the nation at large. 

Facts of the Case 

The filing method of Rajasthan HC involved a lot of physical interaction which could have led to the spread of the virus. The HC ordered the E filing method’s adoption to expedite the process and stop the spread of the virus. Due to the advent of the outbreak of pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Rajasthan High Court has enabled the E-Filing facility for essential matters.
 

Procedural Aspects of E-Filing  

The argument was that given the prevailing situation amid the outbreak of coronavirus, the condition of filing of hard copy of e-filed cases within 7 days of e-filing should remain relaxed till regular work resumes. A hard copy of such cases and the court fees will be deposited at the filing counters once work is continued within a week. This process should reduce the need for physical interaction to the minimum.
 
There is a need for direct integration of the e-filing portal with the online payment facility of court fees. Before e-filing, the Advocates or party in person should to create a user account on the e-filing portal. The Advocate account creation process will need a One Time Password’ for verification which will be sent on Mobile Number and email address of concerned Advocate registered in the database of Rajasthan High Court.
 
However, If one requires any change in a mobile number or email address, the advocates may send an email for the same along with a copy of their Bar council Enrolment certificate or Bar Association Identity card having Bar council enrolment number. E-filing is only a mode of filing. Mentioning for urgent listing will be as per prevailing practice. Furthermore, the filing is only through one way, i.e. either through email or on the e-filing portal. If filing is in both the modes, either the case will not be listed, or it will delay the listing as the system will identify two instances in one matter.


Court’s Observation

This portal is also in use various other High courts for e-filing. The Link for the same is available on the website of Rajasthan High Court in the top bar on the home page, and the filing of urgent cases can be as per the Guidelines issued for this purpose.
 
The previous use of a similar filing system justifies this step. It is quite evident from the facts that the filing method was an alternative previously. The only underlying issue is that it might be the sole alternative for many.
 

Court Order

The bench under the leadership of Justice Inderjeet M. has decided to introduce the filing system. Thus, the system reduces the need for physical interaction. The order is both to limit the spread of the virus and expedite the system as well. Therefore, the E-filing system is the right alternative. Hence, Rajasthan HC has ordered the use of e-filing method for urgent matters. 

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