Covid-19 pandemic was something as if the heavens fell, says CJI

Updated on Oct 31, 2020 09:05 PM IST

The Chief Justice of India said justice must be accessible to all, otherwise it will be a failure on our part.

A walk around the court showed that no social distancing was being maintained, CJI said recalling how he ordered to switch to online hearing after Supreme Court briefly opened following summer vacation. (Photo: ANI)
A walk around the court showed that no social distancing was being maintained, CJI said recalling how he ordered to switch to online hearing after Supreme Court briefly opened following summer vacation. (Photo: ANI)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

Inaugurating India’s first-ever e-resource centre Nyay Kaushal in Nagpur, Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde on Saturday said how the Covid-19 pandemic created a huge challenge for physical hearings and subsequent virtual hearings could not become a proper solution as it created a divide between those who could afford technology and who couldn’t.

“We tried to let the SC function in a restricted way but realised it wasn’t possible to safely continue court in that way... The pandemic was something as if heaven fell. A walk around the Court showed that no social distancing was being maintained. But there is an old saying in law that let justice be done though the heavens may fall. I’m very proud to say that along with my colleagues, we have managed to ensure that the rule of law is maintained,” the CJI said.

Talking about advocates who have ended their careers, who wanted to end their lives in the aftermath of the pandemic, the CJI said, “ I know a case, where the advocate resorted to selling vegetables. Some states started mobile vans with portable Wifi, where litigants and Advocates can use the Wifi for hearings. It is time to remove these inequalities. This centre which we are inaugurating is the step in that direction.”

The centre that was inaugurated on Saturday will facilitate filing of online cases starting from district courts to the high courts and the Supreme Court. The internet speed in 300 MBPS, reports said and the hearing room has been made soundproof. There is also a waiting room.

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