A committee comprising seven Supreme Court judges has ruled out resumption of regular courtroom hearings for now and indicated that a final call may be taken by the end on June, news agency PTI has reported.
Reacting to the suggestion by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) favouring the resumption of regular courtroom hearings, the committee comprising seven judges of the Supreme Court didn’t agree to the demand of the bar bodies and said that it will take a call in the next meeting which will take place at month-end.
The Supreme Court switched to virtual court hearings from March 25 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The top court had on March 23 issued a circular announcing the suspension of entry of lawyers and litigants inside the court premises and directed that only extremely urgent cases will be taken up for hearing. Such cases are being heard by the top court through video conferencing without the personal presence of lawyers.
The Supreme Court committee during a review meeting of the functioning of the court on Wednesday, considered the representation of the SCBA and Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA). The committee said it was not in favour of resumption of open court hearings.
The SCBA in its recommendation said that administration of justice cannot remain virtually closed for an indefinite period. Besides SCBA, Bar Council of India and SCAORA have also demanded resumption of physical courtroom hearings
The committee is headed by senior most judge Justice NC Ramana. It said that it will review the functioning of the court at the end of June keeping in mind the pandemic situation, the PTI report said.
Citing sources, the report said the committee will meet again on June 30 to decide on the functioning of the courts. The apex court has already curtailed the summer vacation and declared that it will function in July.
The national capital has registered a spike of Coronavirus cases in the last few days. It has over 32,000 Covid cases but the government has resumed several activities with precautions in place. According to the Delhi government’s claim, the city could see over five lakh cases by July end.