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The Supreme Court is likely to restart physical hearings soon | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court is likely to resume physical hearings in three to four weeks, the Bar Council of India (BCI) said on Monday after its chairman and other bar leaders met with CJI SA Bobde and sought the normal functioning of the court, interrupted for almost a year due to the pandemic.
The meeting was held to define modalities and standard operating procedures to start a system that includes physical and virtual audiences. The BCI informed the CJI of the difficulties that defenders face in case of virtual hearings through videoconferences.
The CJI met with BCI President Manan Kumar Mishra, Attorney General Tushar Mehta, SC Bar Association Leader Kailash Vasdev, Registered Defender Association leaders and former SCBA President Vikas Singh. “From today’s meeting, it is clear that the physical hearings will begin in the Supreme Court within three to four weeks,” Mishra said in a press release, adding that he told the CJI that there could be no substitute for the hearing. physical.
The Secretary General suggested alleviating the difficulties defenders face in getting petitions on the hearing list by assigning mention work to one or two judges. This was supported by the president of BCI. The CJI said it would consult other judges on this.
On resuming the physical hearings, the CJI said it would consult medical experts, assess the infrastructure and staff availability before making a decision on the large-scale resumption of the physical hearings. The president of the BCI said that the CJI asked him to “coordinate with high-level lawyers and other bar associations in the country to agree to the physical hearings.”
The pandemic had seriously affected the operation of the public hearing, as six SC judges and almost half of the SC staff were infected with coronavirus. However, it continued to resolve a large number of cases through video conferencing, which was seen to be more favorable to high-level defenders.
Bar leaders will meet with SC Secretary General Sanjeev S Kalgaonkar on Wednesday to finalize standard operating procedures for physical hearings. Meanwhile, lead attorney Vikas Singh had called for protests from defenders inside SC facilities for the resumption of physical hearings. Dozens of defenders were seen holding banners demanding physical hearings.
Singh said that the CJI suggested a hybrid hearing mode for which the infrastructure would be improved by the SC. “I, on behalf of the members of the bar association, insisted on the immediate resumption of the full physical hearings. The CJI did not agree and therefore we decided to continue our protest until our demand is met,” he said, adding that he would not agree to hybrid mode of hearings without immediate resumption of physical hearings.

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