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Chief Justice of India SA Bobde today informed Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal during a hearing that instructions would soon be released from the Supreme Court asking lawyers and judges to not wear robes or gowns to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The comment was made when the Bench of CJI Bobde with Justices Indu Malhotra and Hrishikesh Roy took up via video conferencing a fresh petition seeking directions for the government to completely ban WhatsApp's payment services.
Senior Advocate Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, sought to know why the Bench was not in judges' robes.
CJI Bobde revealed that the judges have been informed that the novel Coronavirus gets attached to gowns and robes. Thus, the senior lawyer was told that instructions would soon be issued by which judges and lawyers will be exempted from donning gowns or robes.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Sibal confirmed that that this message from CJI Bobde "was for all" in the legal fraternity.
This potential development comes close on the heels of an indication by the Supreme Court that cases will be covered on a "large scale" through video conferencing. It was also hinted that judges would hear matters via video conferencing from the courtrooms of the Supreme Court, and not from their respective residences.