Supreme Court's encouragement of Virtual Hearings amid rise in COVID-19 in New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Wednesday encouraged advocates to appear for hearings virtually if they wanted to, amid the rise in COVID-19 cases in New Delhi.
Aditya Narayan, Saakshya Law Advocates
Aditya Narayan, Saakshya Law Advocates

A Bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala said during the mentioning of cases on Wednesday, 5th April, 2023,

"Newspaper reports show that COVID cases are on the rise. Whichever lawyer wants to appear virtually they can. The hybrid mode is on and I see many lawyers who are appearing online. So please feel free to."

On this matter, Aditya Narayan, Partner of Saakshya Law quoted,

"In the recent remarks of the Hon’ble Justices regarding e-filing (see remarks of Hon’ble Chief Justice of India reported here) and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Govindraj (You Tube link), the emergence of ‘hybrid’ Courts (see, again, Hon’ble Chief Justices remarks encouraging lawyers to utilize VC here) and early steps in adoption of AI underline incremental technology adoption in the judicial process.

As long as issues surrounding access to technology are addressed, this is clearly a change for the better. Importantly, lawyers will have a dispositive impact on the success of these efforts; it is imperative that concerns that will inevitably arise are meaningfully addressed, and a critical mass adopts available tools if the desired outcomes are to be achieved."

On Wednesday, India recorded 4,435 new COVID-19 infections, the highest single-day jump in over 5 months.

When a similar spike in cases was seen in January last year, the apex court had decided that it would not hear cases through physical mode.

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