SC Judges’ panel not in favour of resumption regular courtroom hearings, to review in June end


A committee of seven Supreme Court judges did not agree to the demands of bar bodies including SCBA to resume regular courtroom hearings for the time being and would review the functioning of the Supreme Court at the end of June keeping in mind the pandemic situation, official sources said on Wednesday.

The committee headed by senior most judge Justice N V Ramana, in its meeting, reviewed the functioning of the Supreme Court in the light of “surging pandemic due to COVID-19 cases in NCT Delhi and adjoining area” and considered the representations of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA), they said.

The judges’ committee was not in favour of resumption of open court hearings at the moment, they said.

The sources said the committee would meet again probably on June 30 to decide on the functioning of the courts, which would be opening in July after the curtailed summer vacation, after taking stock of the pandemic situation then.

An official communication with regard to the panel’s meeting would be issued, they said.

The top court has been holding virtual hearings since March 25 when the COVID-19-induced lockdown was imposed in the country.

Earlier, the committee had postponed its June 5 meeting with the bar leaders to review functioning of courts in view of the pandemic.

SCBA had written to its members on June 4 seeking their views on resumption of regular courtroom proceedings for apprising the judges’ panel of its views.

Favouring resumption of open courts, the president of SCBA had also said, “Administration of justice cannot remain virtually closed for an indefinite period”.

BCI (Bar Council of India), SCBA and SCAORA have been demanding resumption of physical courtroom hearings.

SCBA had said there was an “existential question” and without the court’s functioning, lawyers, except privileged few, are in dire need “for the court to start to give them a chance to work and livelihood.

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Updated: June 10, 2020 — 5:21 pm

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