Full court meeting today to decide on SC functioning amid coronavirus outbreak
The Supreme Court has been in partial shutdown since March 16, after a notification was issued by the top court on March 13, by which it was decided that only urgent cases will be listed for hearing.Updated: Mar 23, 2020 06:22 IST
The Supreme Court will on Monday take a call on whether or not to halt the usual functioning of the court for the time being, in view of the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
A full court meeting will be held at 12.30pm to consider the suggestions made in this regard by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association (SCAORA), the two Bar bodies which represent the apex court lawyers.
Besides, a bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and justice DY Chandrachud will hear cases via video conferencing on Monday.
The executive committee (EC) of the SCBA, a body of lawyers practising in the Supreme Court, had passed a resolution on Saturday requesting the CJI to declare vacation in the Supreme Court for four weeks beginning from March 23.
The Supreme Court has been in partial shutdown since March 16, after a notification was issued by the top court on March 13, by which it was decided that only urgent cases will be listed for hearing.
However, there was a lack of clarity on what constituted “urgent” matters and a several cases came to be listed before the court in the week starting March 16. Besides cases of public importance like the case on Madhya Pradesh assembly crisis, a slew of transfer petitions and corporate matters were also listed leading to substantial crowds in the courtrooms.
The SCBA has urged the CJI to opt for a total shutdown, suggesting that working days lost due to closure of the court can be adjusted against the apex court’s summer vacation, scheduled from May 18 to July 5.
The SCAORA, which comprises lawyers who are allowed to file cases in the top court, also passed a similar resolution on Saturday asking the CJI to close the Supreme Court for at least two weeks. Like the SCBA, the SCAORA recommended that lost working days should be compensated by reducing the length of the summer vacation.