Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdown announced from March 23, 2020, the Supreme Court of India has ensured unabated access to justice for people through videoconferencing in its 71st year. The handicaps of introducing new technology for regular hearing aside, the Apex Court’s 1998 benches held 43,713 hearings till December 31, 2020 by video conferencing.
A press release from the Supreme Court‘s Public Relations Office on the occasion of its completing 71 years from its first sitting on January 28, 1950, said the year 2020 saw a bettering of its performance. The release said the Apex Court was functional for 231 days, including 13 vacation sittings in 2020, beyond the usual minimum required 190 days of court sittings in a year.
The Registry also remained functional for 271 days as against an average 268 days in the last three years. The Registry’s working strength was affected considerably with 408 officials/staff infected with Covid-19 and an unfortunate loss of life of one official. However, almost 99% of the officials/staff so reported positive for the infection were asymptomatic or with mild symptoms.
The release said this early detection and cure was possible due to rigorous implementation of Covid-19 protocols and regular testing of officials/staff at periodic intervals and strict contact tracing mechanism and sanitisation procedure.Press-Note-28.01.2021