SC committee recommends physical hearings in some Benches from next week with additional safety measures

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A committee of seven judges of the Supreme Court has recommended resumption of regular physical hearing of cases which are in their final stage after 10-15 days in three courtrooms.

Physical hearings in the apex court have been stopped since March 20 owing to the conditions created by COVID-19 pandemic.

The matters are being taken up for hearing and judgments being pronounced through video conferencing.

The panel has also met leaders such as Bar Council Chairperson Manan Kumar Mishra, Supreme Court Bar Association President Dushyant Dave and Shivaji Jadhav on the issue of resumption of physical hearings in SC. It must also be noted that the physical court hearings will be in addition to the virtual court hearings that are already taking place. 

“Looking at the current time and economic condition of many of advocates, though it appears to be a good initiative but unfailing caution and due care is also required to be exercised by all who are going to physically appear in courts,” said Vivek Narayan Sharma, Advocate on Record for Supreme Court Advocates On Records Association (SCAORA).

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“I may also add that the physical courts are in addition to virtual courts and people would have option to do virtual hearing as well. Matters from the final hearing list published before the lockdown would be listed before the physical courts. Final decision would be taken by the judges’ committe in a day or two,” Shivaji M Jadhav, President of the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) said.

In the meantime, the  the apex court’s registry would take necessary steps to prepare the courts for physical functioning, Jadhav added.

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