Supreme Court Bar Association urges CJI to resume physical hearing in SC

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Keeping in view the fact that the current Covid situation is normal, and there is a dip in cases in Delhi, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has once again written a letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana and requested him to start the physical functioning of Supreme Court following strict compliance with Covid protocols and appropriate behaviour.

The former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and senior Supreme Court lawyer, Vikas Singh, for the SCBA President, had written the letter and reputed the CJI for resuming the physical functioning of court in compliance with COVID appropriate behaviour.

In its letter to the CJI, SCBA said that how the Bar had duly undertaken a vaccination program for lawyers aged below 45 on a war footing and while lawyers above 45 years have already been getting vaccinated since March 2020.

“The way forward in today’s scenario would be to start the court with normal functioning by observing the Covid appropriate behaviour so that the court functioning does not in any manner increase the Covid impact even if a third wave were to come,” the SCBA said.

The Executive Committee of the SCBA has already taken proactive steps to vaccinate all our members, clerks, staff as well as family members including the domestic help of the lawyers and the said vaccination is still continuing, the SCBA said.

In fact, in the month of May 2021, the SCBA-EC had purchased vaccines from the Serum Institute of India at private rates in bulk and started vaccinating the under 45 age category on a war footing so as to cover a maximum number of people as mentioned above. As far as the 45 and above age category is concerned, SCBA started the vaccination drive on March 16.2021 which was inaugurated by your good self, SCBA said.

The so-called third wave, if it comes, would be known only when mutation of virus takes place and since the government is aggressively conduction genome sequencing. The fact of the third wave would be known in the public domain, the moment it starts, the SCBA added.

“If we continue to function with Covid appropriate behaviour even with the advent of the third wave, our premises cannot be a place which will aggravate the spread of Covid as almost all our stakeholders have had their first dose of vaccine and majority have taken both the shots,” the SCBA said.

Slots of 45 minutes each should be assigned for miscellaneous/final disposal matters and thereafter three slots of 1 hour each should be assigned for two final hearing matters in each slot so that around 6 final. hearing matters can be taken up for hearing, the SCBA said.

To avoid overcrowding in the courtroom, the media persons should not be allowed inside the courtroom and should only be allowed to watch the proceedings by virtual mode, the SCBA said.

Even litigants should not be allowed to enter the courtroom as we do not know their vaccination status, and they should only watch the court proceedings through virtual mode. That the proximity cards/long term passes shall not be kept under suspension and the lawyers may be allowed to access the libraries and lounges in the High-Security Zone. The same can be monitored by the SCBA in its wisdom ensuring that no overcrowding takes place in the High-Security Zone, the SCBA said.

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