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Continued electronic hearings, urged Bombay HC CJ | India News


MUMBAI: The Mumbai Bar Association (BBA) and several senior lawyers on Sunday petitioned the Chief Justice of Mumbai High Court, Dipankar Datta, to reconsider a measure to reestablish physical hearings in lieu of video conferencing that has become the norm since the shutdown began.
They have urged the Chief Justice (CJ) to continue with virtual courts until at least December 31, after which, they said, it can be reassessed. Videoconferencing mode “has already been used successfully for many months,” the BBA said.
The group wrote a letter to the CJ on Sunday morning to reconsider Friday’s order whereby almost the entire high court at the main headquarters in Mumbai would undergo physical examinations from December 1, albeit formally “ experimental ” until January 10. Physical hearings were suspended in the last week of March, when the number of Covid cases in Maharashtra was less than 50.
About 15 attorneys, including senior attorneys VA Thorat, Prasad Dhakephalkar, Shirish Gupte and Amit Desai, sought the option of appearing virtually or physically. They cited a “24%” increase in active Covid cases in the last week alone in Mumbai. The BBA held a meeting around 4 pm to discuss the issue. His defense secretary, Birendra Saraf, said she had received comments from many lawyers who “expressed grave concern about the mandatory nature of physical appearances in so many courts given the pandemic.”

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