Physical hearings in Supreme Court may resume soon
Physical hearing of cases is likely to resume in a limited manner in the Supreme Court (SC) on a trial basis soon, a seven-judge committee constituted on July 22 to decide on the reopening of physical courts decided on August 11.
Additional registrar Mahesh T Patankar informed the leaders of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA), on August 18, about the decision of the committee to commence physical hearing of a limited number of cases after 10 days.
“It has been suggested that a limited number of cases be listed for physical hearing on experimental basis after 10 days,” Patankar said in his letter about the committee’s August 11 decision.
The exact date on which the physical hearing will resume is not clear yet.
“We are hoping that physical hearing commences soon. As per the Additional Registrar’s communication, it should start after 10 days from date on which committee met, i.e. August 11. So it could start any day on or after August 21,” SCAORA President, Shivaji M Jadhav told HT.
The seven-judge committee comprises justices NV Ramana, Arun Mishra, RF Nariman, UU Lalit, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and LN Rao.
According to Patankar’s August 18 letter, three of the biggest court rooms in SC will be prepared for physical hearing and it will be ensured that social distancing and other norms laid down by medical experts are adhered to.
Only a limited number of cases will be listed for physical hearing in such courtrooms and it will be done only after obtaining prior consent in writing of all parties involved in the case. Further, only ‘final hearing’ cases, that is cases which are to be heard in detail will be listed for physical hearing, the additional registrar said.
Physical hearing will be in addition to the existing video conference hearing which will continue unaffected.
Requests from lawyers and litigants for exemption from physical hearing will be considered favourably, Patankar said in his communication.
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