‘We Also Want To Get Back To Action’: Supreme Court Expresses Intention To Reassess Possibility Of Physical Hearings

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first_imgTop Stories’We Also Want To Get Back To Action’: Supreme Court Expresses Intention To Reassess Possibility Of Physical Hearings Radhika Roy20 Jan 2021 3:57 AMShare This – xTwo Benches of the Supreme Court expressed an inclination on Wednesday during separate instances to reassess the possibility of resuming physical hearings. A Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India observed that the Court was eager to “go back to action”, however, the same would be done only after taking into account the opinion of health authorities. The Court was presiding…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginTwo Benches of the Supreme Court expressed an inclination on Wednesday during separate instances to reassess the possibility of resuming physical hearings. A Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India observed that the Court was eager to “go back to action”, however, the same would be done only after taking into account the opinion of health authorities. The Court was presiding over two pleas challenging the decision of the Delhi High Court to resume large-scale physical hearing before itself and subordinate courts in Delhi with effect from January 18, without giving a choice to lawyers to appear via the virtual mode. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal had raised the issue pertaining to the “clear and present danger” involved with lawyers exposing themselves to COVID-19. Senior Advocate Vikas Singh informed the Court that the common man was unable to access justice due to the virtual mode of hearing. To this, the CJI responded, “We also want to get back to the action. But, we want to ask health authorities before that. We are not going to take the opinion of advocates on a health issue”. In a separate instance, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan observed that the matter of resuming physical hearings would be deliberated upon within two weeks. The remark was passed while hearing petitions challenging the Bombay High Court verdict wherein the Maharasthra Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, which provides for reservations to Marathas in jobs and education, was upheld. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi sought for an adjournment as he informed the Bench that due to the virtual nature of proceedings, the lawyers were all scattered and unable to prepare for the case. “We are lawyers scattered in different places and there are huge records. It is difficult to argue over virtual hearing. We are not entering into merits. Vaccination process has startred and there is a 6-8 weeks wait for the elderly”, stated Rohatgi. Justice Bhushan then stated that the Court did not intend to begin hearing for the case on January 25th, and that the matter would be kept after two weeks so that there would be some clarity regarding the commencement of physical hearings. In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court had begun following restricted functioning since March 16, 2020, hearing only urgent matters. Several precautionary measures had also been adopted to avoid overcrowding. With the national lockdown being declared on March 23, the Supreme Court issued a circular, directing for suspension of entry of litigants and lawyers into the court premises. Since then, matters have been taken up through the medium of video conferencing. Next Storylast_img read more