Bar Council of India demands free laptops, iPads, WiFi for needy lawyers

The Bar Council of India (BCI) Thursday demanded that all ‘needy’ lawyers should be provided free iPads, laptops, and WiFi connection to facilitate them in the discharge of their professional duties.

“The Union Government, in collaboration with the state governments, is requested and required to provide basic iPads/laptops to all needy advocates of the country for the purposes of e-filing and virtual hearings from the confines of their private space, from their homes, offices etc,” BCI said.

It added free and effective WiFi connections in the premises of all the bar associations of the country with advanced scanners and advanced Computer systems of a minimum of at least two in all district courts, four in all high courts and one in taluka courts bar associations should be provided.

This would, according to the BCI, facilitate e-filing by those who don’t have proper infrastructure.

The decision to put forth these demands before the Government was taken by the BCI in its meeting held on August 12. In this regard, BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra will be writing to the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, all Chief Ministers, the Union Minister for Law and Justice, the Electronics and Information Technology and Communications Department, chairperson of e-committee of the Supreme Court and all Chief Justices of high courts.

It also requested the Supreme Court and High Courts to take early steps to resume hearings in open courts depending upon the prevailing condition of the places. It added that District judges should take steps to resume physical hearing after laying down and making efforts for ensuring the effective norms of social distancing.