Covid-19: Supreme Court to hear cases through video conferencing

  • The judges will sit in the court room while the advocates will be appearing and make arguments for the cases through a separate monitoring room in the court premises
  • Lawyers' bodies have decided to recommend to the CJI to advance the summer vacation at the top court

Japnam Bindra
Updated23 Mar 2020
(Photo: ANI)
(Photo: ANI)

New Delhi: Amid the rising cases of Covid-19, Supreme Court shall hear all the cases through video conferencing from 23 March,.

The apex court website has uploaded the case list of the urgent cases listed for hearing on the Supreme Court website. The judges will sit in the court room while the advocates will be appearing and make arguments for the cases through a separate monitoring room in the court premises.

A full court meeting will be held at 12:30 pm on 23 March headed by the Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde. The agenda of the meeting would be to discuss further measures to be taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The members of the meeting will also consider the suggestions given by the Supreme Court (SC) lawyers bodies like Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCAORA).

Both the lawyers' bodies have decided to recommend to the Chief Justice to advance the summer vacation at the top court by declaring holidays for two to four weeks in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On 21 March, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), after passing a resolution through it's executive committee, have decided to make an urgent appeal to the Chief Justice to close the top court for minimum four weeks from 23 March.

The (SC) is scheduled to go on summer vacation from 18 May till 5 July during which vacation benches usually take up urgent matters.

In a statement issued to the media Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCAORA) said that they have certain suggestions to put forth before the CJI. One being that the entry to entire SC premises should be restricted only to advocates and clerks associated with urgent matters and all High Courts be requested to issue directives to the authorities within their territorial jurisdictions not to carry out demolitions or auction properties until further orders.

Another suggestion made by the lawyers' body was that the order be issued for continuation of all interim orders until further orders and the period for depositing cost in terms of orders of the courts and other statutory deposits be extended, so as to avoid the unnecessary risk of filing the special leave petitions (SLPs) under urgent matters

The apex court on 13 March had issued a notification restricting the hearing of only urgent matters. The court had also restricted the entry of litigants, media person's, legal interns and allowed only lawyers making the oral arguments to be allowed inside the court rooms. On 16 March, the CJI had made it clear that there cannot be a "complete shutdown" of courts due the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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