Vishal Kale Litigation Lawyer

The world has seen that the vision and work potential of Indians are immense. When the Government of India challenged 130 crores, people, for 21 days lockdown, with few exceptions, the whole population supported the government to stop the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown has now been extended to 39 days and almost all citizens are supporting. The world began to learn from Indians in different ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. There will rarely be any economic area escaping the Covid-19 influence. This is affecting the legal framework of every country. Therefore, a proactive approach is needed to insulate the legal system from possible breakdowns and Lawyers need to look at this from a different perspective.


In the coming days, courts around the world, including India, will be caught in many cases such as manpower rationalization (retrenchments), closures of business units, disruptions in supply chains and non-performance of contracts, calling off projects, implementation delays and what have you. That can add to the existing massive pendency of cases at various courts, breakdown in commercial activities, loss of livelihood, etc. Therefore cases emanating due to Covid-19 breakout will further increase the pendency of cases in the courts. Alternative dispute settlement mechanisms like arbitration, conciliation and mediation should have resorted and lawyers should also be involved in settling the cases arising out of Covid-19 breakout, particularly relating to tenancy, employment, deferment of loans and interest chargeable thereof. There should be finality for the cases decided and higher courts should be approached with an appeal only under exceptional cases. Special courts and benches also can be considered across the country to handle cases arising due to Covid-19 breakout, commercial cases and other related ones.

Appointment of lawyers under Arbitration, Forum, Special Proficiency and Assistant as mentioned above can create new opportunities for lawyers to handle the working as part of the judicial system this must be considered by the Government and the Hon’ble High Court as well as the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to promote Arbitrations in commercial disputes, to appoint lawyers and attorneys, solicitors as assistants to the Learned Judges and take over some part of the administration at the cost of the litigants. Appointing Lawyers as Arbitrators who have more than 15 years of experience or expertise in any subject and to establish a platform for lawyers to settle cases in respect of various matters such as civil / tax/customers/workers/services / various tribunals, an alternative options should also be considered for settlement of pending cases by classifying these cases at cost of litigants. This will give lawyers a new opportunity to work and help the government to resolve pending cases, facilitate easier and quicker decision-making. In most cases, it is important to give the lawyers an opportunity to be in support with the judiciary to help reduce pendency of cases.

The lawyers now need to be computer savvy. One possibility or prediction is that the Hon’ble Supreme Court and Government of India will introduce new rules and allow some pending cases to be run through video conferences, even in the district court, some cases can be allowed to run through video conferencing, so lawyers will have to adopt many new technologies, such as faster internet services, laptops, video software, zoom, skype and many more.

If some court proceedings are carried out through Video conferencing by the Hon’ble Court, working of lawyers from their office will save time, money and energy spent due to disruptive roads, traffic, waiting for the hearing. That in almost any city, if the parties and the lawyers could work or attend court hearing from their office, then there will be many benefits and it will save paper cost, it will help environment damage by reducing pollution and also lead to cleaner air in the city. It is said that 10,000 lawyers daily come in various courts in Pune city and a similar number of clients also come.


Covid-19 breakout also necessitates an amendment to a number of existing laws to make them contextual to the changes that are conceived. Indian Contract Act, Indian Evidence Act, IPR, Indian Labor Act, Indian Disaster Management Act, Indian Epidemics Act, etc. are some of the legislations that need a review to align with the perceived changes in the economic and legal framework.


Every crisis brings in its wake opportunities. COVID-19 breakout can be leveraged to bring about greater use of technology in the legal system from the apex court to the grassroots layers of the legal system. A limited experiment is being done in Supreme Court and High Courts for the introduction of technology to make access to the system easy and affordable to the litigants. For instance, the Supreme Court and some High Courts are hearing important cases through a virtual medium. This has to be intensified and widened so as to equip every court with the right technology and bandwidth to facilitate the process. This also requires, among other things, the following:

  1. Larger allocation of outlay specifically for technology upgradation, which can reduce the pendency of cases drastically.
  2. Overhaul of the entire legal ecosystem to equip the judiciary and legal fraternity, particularly at the District courts with the knowledge of handling technology and use of visual platforms for filing cases, arguments, authentication of documents, presenting evidence etc. it may also require amendments to the Evidence Act, acceptance of e-authentication, e-signatures, etc. This also calls for drastic changes in the Indian Criminal and Civil Procedure Acts.
  3. Importantly, in the entire chain of events, the litigant – the common man – should be an active participant and he should be able to watch the court proceedings through virtual media, get intimation of the hearing well in time, daily rulings not being present in the court.
  4. Importantly, the digital platforms should not be subjected to hacking, cyber threats and manipulations by vested interests. There should be strong cybersecurity systems in place.
  5. Use of technology is not a low hanging fruit. Considerable work has to be done in integrating and linking systems, data, harmonizing procedures, creating digital structures that are user friendly. For instance, in the US, the idea of induction of technology started over a decade back through meticulous planning to create an ecosystem, which is comprehensive and taking care of all possible disruptions the system can cause. India can borrow from the US system the automation methodology and innovation trail instead of reinventing the wheel.SUMMARY

In this way, Covid-19 breakout is going to have a big impact on the field of law and all lawyers need to be tech-savvy and computer savvy and the government should provide opportunities for the lawyers in the field of the judiciary in different forms as mentioned above. I would like to bring the attention of Executive and Judiciary to consider the above matters and with the coordination of Law Commission, a serious consideration of the above effects should be studied and a report is required to be submitted to Government so as to convert this into rule of law.

During this crisis, I had a word with my Guru Dr Sudhar E. Avhad, Advocate, and our President Mr Lalit Bhasin Sir of SILF (Society of Indian Law Firm), New Delhi, who inspired me to write a small article on the impact of Covid -19 on lawyers. I am thankful for their guidance.

About the Author:

Mr. Vishal Kale

Litigation Lawyer and Arbitrator Partner at Kale and Shinde Associates Law Firm (Pune, Mumbai, Delhi)

Vishal has completed his Law studies in 2001, grew up inspired and influenced by his father, who was Professor at Law and an eminent lawyer in his prime. His expertise in subject has led him to become Arbitrator in various matters. Sensing opportunity, he flew happily to various cities and courts and prepared his team in such a way that different lawyers holding expertise in different areas of the law came together under one umbrella for helping their clients as one window solutions for their every legal needs.

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