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SC will begin hybrid physical hearing of cases from March 15 | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court, which has been hearing cases via video conferencing since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will begin a hybrid physical hearing from March 15.
The superior court has issued the standard operating procedure (SOP) for hybrid physical hearings.
The high court has been hearing cases via video conferencing since March last year due to the pandemic and several bar associations and attorneys have been demanding that physical hearings resume immediately.
“On an experimental basis, and as a pilot plan, the final hearings / regular issues listed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays can be heard in hybrid mode, as decided by the court, considering the number of parties to a matter as well as the limited capacity of courtrooms, all other matters, including those listed on Mondays and Fridays, will continue to be heard via video / teleconference mode, “said the SOP issued by the supreme court.
“Hybrid physical hearings will begin on March 15, 2021.”
He said that, unless a court indicates otherwise, final hearings or regular matters where the number of attorneys for the parties is greater than the average working capacity of courtrooms according to Covid-19 standards, i.e. , 20 per courtroom at any given time, will invariably be listed to be heard via video or teleconference mode.
“… however, in case the court orders that the hearing of such matters be carried out through the hybrid mode, the appearance of the parties, either by physical presence or by video / teleconference, will be facilitated according to the bank’s instructions, “the SOP said.
He said that if the number of parties is greater than the number specified in a matter listed for hybrid hearing, then one registered advocate (AOR) and one arguing attorney per party would be allowed in.
He said one registered secretary per party, as chosen by the AOR, will be allowed in to carry paper books or lawyers’ diaries into courtrooms.
“In any matter that may be included in the hybrid hearing list, all attorneys who appear for one of the parties can appear through physical presence or via video / teleconference,” he said.
The SOP said that AORs can submit their preferences to appear in court either physically or via video or teleconference mode within 24 hours or before 1 p.m. the day following the publication of the weekly list of final hearings. or regular affairs.
“If the registered advocate for one of the parties does not opt ​​for either mode, that is, physical mode or video / teleconference mode, it will be presumed that the party’s attorneys seek to introduce themselves via video / teleconference mode and it will be facilitated accordingly, “he said.
“In case the court indicates that a matter should be included in a hybrid hearing, neither party opts for a physical hearing, the matter will be submitted to a hearing via video / teleconference,” the SOP said.
Said entry to the high security area of ​​the apex court through proximity cards or long-term passes will be suspended until further notice.
“The entry of lawyers / parties or other interested parties to appear within the courtrooms for hybrid hearings will be done through daily ‘special hearing passes’, which will be issued by the registry based on the authorization of the defender in question, “he added.
The SOP said that subject to the capacity of a courtroom, parties will be allowed to enter a matter no earlier than 10 minutes before the start of the matter hearing.
“It should be noted that the use of masks, the frequent use of hand sanitizer and the maintenance of the rules of physical distancing are mandatory for all who enter the premises of the Supreme Court, including the courtrooms,” he said.
“Advocates / advisers who have more than one case for hybrid hearings in the courtrooms will receive separate special hearing passes for each case and after a case hearing is complete, they can wait in designated waiting / staging areas for the purpose of appearing for the next hearings, “he said.
The SOP added that to facilitate video conferencing or teleconferencing for defenders, there is a dedicated VC facilitation center in the additional building complex of the main court.

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