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HC declines to entertain plea to install fibre internet lines in all court complexes

The Delhi High Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea seeking installation of fibre lines of all telecom operators in every court complex in the city to ensure faster internet for effective hearing of cases via video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said that while the issue raised was a good one, no relief can be granted right away as huge expenditure is involved and the government has its own priorities.

“This is not the right time for it (laying fibre cables in district courts). We will do it in time, slowly,” the bench said.

The court however allowed the petitioner, a lawyer, to make a representation before the authorities who, on receiving it, were directed to decide it in accordance with the law, rules, regulations and government policy applicable to the facts of the case and by also keeping in mind its financial priorities.

With the direction, the bench disposed of the plea.

The petition, seeking laying of fibre cables for faster internet connectivity, had been filed by advocate Satnarain Sharma who has claimed that “due to lack of infrastructure and poor connectivity of internet, hardship is being faced by the judges and lawyers in most of the court complexes” in the national capital.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for Sharma told the bench that fibre cable boxes were being set up in the high court by MTNL at no extra cost and the same can be done in the district courts by the state-run telecom company.

Central government standing counsel Anil Soni, appearing for the Department of Telecommunication, told the court that the cost aspect has to be verified.

Thereafter, the court asked Sharma to move a representation before the appropriate authorities.

Sharma in his plea had said, “To avoid hardships being faced by the lawyers who are working from their chambers in respective courts and to make the virtual courts more effective and efficient, installation of fibre internet of all cellular operators in all court complexes has become indispensable necessity.” PTI

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