1 Aug 2010

Supreme Court to serve notice by email

In a recent order passed by the Supreme Court, keeping in view the delay in service of notice to the respondents to effectuate their appearance before the Court, the Chief Justice of India has directed that "on addition to normal mode of service, service of Notice(s) may be effected by E-Mail for which the advocate(s) on-record will, at the time of filing of petition/appeal, furnish to the filing counter a soft copy of the entire petition/appeal in PDF format"

The Order, passed in the matter of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission v. National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd. was passed by the Chief Justice notes that "in various Courts, the statistical data indicates that, on account of delay in process serving, arrears keep on mounting. In Delhi itself, the input indicates that fifty per cent of the arrears in Courts particularly in commercial cases is on account of delay in process serving.". In this view he laid down the following guidelines in this regard;
[i] In addition to normal mode of service, service of Notice(s) may be effected by E-Mail for which the advocate(s) on-record will, at the time of filing of petition/appeal, furnish to the filing counter a soft copy of the entire petition/appeal in PDF format; 
[ii] The advocate(s) on-record shall also simultaneously submit E-Mail addresses of the respondent(s) Companies/Corporation(s) to the filing counter of the Registry. This will be in addition to the hard copy of the petition/appeal;
[iii] If the Court issues notice, then, in that event alone, the Registry will send such an additional notice at the E-Mail addresses of the respondent(s) Companies/Corporation(s) via E-Mail;
[iv] The Registry will also send Notice at the E-Mail address of the advocate(s) for respondent(s) Companies/Corporation(s), who have filed caveat. Advocate(s) on-record filing caveat shall provide his/her E-Mail address for effecting service; and
[v] Within two weeks from today, Cabinet Secretariat shall also provide centralized E-Mail addresses of various Ministries/Departments/ Regulatory Authorities along with the names of the Nodal Officers, if already appointed, for the purposes of service.
The Order itself clarifies that this "facility is being extended in addition to the modes of service mentioned in the existing Supreme Court Rules. This facility, for the time being, is extended to commercial litigation and to those cases where the advocate(s) on-record seeks urgent interim reliefs."

4 comments:

Jeff H. Karotkin said...

I am interested in this ruling. Does this ruling effect the traditional role of a process server in India? Or were these notices being served by postal or other modes that did not involve a process server?

Tarun Jain said...

Notices were earlier served by traditional post. Now this facility of service by email is only an additional one and notices will continue to be sent by traditional method of postal mail.

Jeff H. Karotkin said...

Thank you for the prompt reply. Do the notices served by tradtional post require a return receipt or something signed by the intended recipient? Like Certified or Registered postal mail. If so, was that process causing the delay?

Tarun Jain said...

The notices are indeed served by Registered Post. However the delivery process is slow and also does not carry out the purpose in view of the frequent errors in the addresses on which these notices are served as the error is known only after the notice is returned back.