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Plea Seeking Protection of Privileged Attorney-Client Communication Taking Place Virtually on Third Party Apps, Delhi HC Asks Concerned Authority to Consider Plea as Representation

Delhi High Court has directed the Petitioner to make a representation before the concerned authority in a plea seeking protection of privileged attorney client communication taking place virtually on third party apps. The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has asked the concerned authority to deal with the said representation in accordance with the law and prevailing policy and take decision as expeditiously as possible. The order has come in a plea seeking the constitution of an Expert Committee to make rules in order to protect privileged communication between an attorney and her client which is currently taking place virtually through third party apps. Filed by Advocate Akhil Hasija, the plea seeks safeguards to protect the attorney-client privilege while using virtual means for communication during these extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19. The Petitioner has submitted that due to COVID19, the communications between the Attorney and the Client are no longer taking place through physical meetings, but instead they are conducted through virtual meetings using third party applications. Therefore, the Petitioner claims, a third party has control over the data and communication between the attorney and the client, making it unsecure and open to misuse, thereby indirectly destroying the sole intent of Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act.

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