Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar has written to Delhi High Court Chief Justice D.N. Patel to reconsider forcing physical hearing and extending virtual hearing for 2-3 more months. Nayar’s letter comes in the backdrop of the latest roster mandating a total of 11 HC benches to hold court through physical hearing.
The letter stated,
“The decision to increase the number of benches appears to be a decision taken in haste, without proper consultation with the concerned stakeholders and medical experts. The decision appears to be prompted at the instance of certain sections of the non-practicing bar – who have the sole agenda of garnering votes through such campaigns.”
It is argued that the situation amid new strains of Covid-19 there are still a significant number of fresh infections reported daily in Delhi whereas, opening of courts in this manner is not a viable option at present.
Appreciating the Virtual Hearing system being used by the Delhi HC, Nayar said,
“The present system of virtual hearing is working wonders and has been hailed as one of the best systems in the Country. The judges of the Hon’ble Supreme Court have been citing examples of our Court as a bench mark for virtual hearing and have urged the Supreme Court registry to adopt the same system as being used by our Court.”
Nayar has urged Chief Justice Patel to reconsider the steps taken towards resumption of physical hearing stating, “Resumption of physical hearings would create a situation where the lives of judges, lawyers, court staff, supports staff, clerks and litigants would be endangered. More so for persons with health issues and comorbidities such as blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and the like.” Whereas, Nayar has further urged the Chief Justice to consider a hybrid system where lawyers can appear simultaneously in physical and virtual hearings.