Monday, August 15, 2022

Supreme Court to start full physical hearing from Monday

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Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana on Wednesday announced that the Supreme Court will resume full physical hearing from April 4.

“From Monday onwards, we are opening full physically. On Monday and Friday, we will provide the Advocates virtual hearing, if they ask,” said the CJI.

At present, the Apex Court has complete virtual hearing on miscellaneous days (Monday and Friday). On other days, the hearings are in physical form, with the virtual option available to Advocates.

The top court of the country had switched over to complete virtual mode in March 2020, with the onset of Covid-19 pandemic.

In October last year, the Court had partially resumed physical hearings. As per the SOP dated October 7, 2021, the Apex Court had decided that all the matters listed on Wednesday and Thursday, as non-miscellaneous days, would be heard by it only in the physical presence of Counsels/parties in Court-rooms.

Further, as per the SOP, the hearings on miscellaneous days (Monday and Friday) will be through virtual mode. All the matters listed on Tuesday, as a non-miscellaneous day, will also be heard in physical mode, however, on prior application by the AOR for the party, appearance through video/tele-conferencing mode will be facilitated.

As the cases of Novel Coronavirus showed an upward trend in January 2022, owing to the emergence of Omicron variant, the Supreme Court had reverted to complete virtual hearing from January 7, 2022.

As the third wave of Covid-19 affected Judges and staff alike in the first two months of 2022, the Judges started hearing cases virtually from residential chambers.

Only urgent matters were taken up for hearing. In view of reduction in the number of cases, the Apex Court had decided on February 7 to revert to only physical hearings on two days a week.

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