SC holds video conferencing for hearing urgent matters

Coronavirus: SC holds video conferencing for hearing urgent matters

The Supreme Court on Monday conducted hearing in a matter through video conferencing only. The top court also decided to cancel the 'proximity' cards (for entry) issued to lawyers for their entry into its premises in view of a situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench presided over by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde asked SC Bar Association President Dushyant Dave to ensure lawyers vacated their chambers by 5 pm on Tuesday for cleaning and fumigation purposes.

The bench went ahead to conduct the hearing in a case through video conferencing as a big screen was set up in CJI's court while the lawyers were seated in a different room to present their case.

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Earlier, Dave contended the clients are pressuring advocates for hearing. "People are extremely frustrated today. If the court can close for four weeks we can work during the regular June vacations," he said. Dave said we can use Skype, and video call for the hearing. 

To this, the CJI said, "it is only a matter of nomenclature. Whether we call it a vacation or shutdown."

"We are considering several things. We want a list of statues in which appeals only come to SC. We will decide on whether to declare vacation because it will have an effect on filing of cases which are time-barred," the bench said.

"We are working out a system where lawyers will be allowed to address us from their homes. We shall soon let you know. We will give you a link. You sit wherever, you want and talk to us," CJI Bobde told lawyers.

The CJI said we will review the situation every weekend. 

The CJI also suggested to hold the sitting once in a week to consider matters of extreme urgency.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi said even video conferencing required lawyers to come here and congregate. We can allow video conferencing or audio conference from our offices, he said.

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