[COVID-19] SCBA urges CJI SA Bobde to resume normal functioning of Supreme Court

Supreme Court -Corona Related
Supreme Court -Corona Related

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President, Dushyant Dave, has written to the CJI on behalf of the Executive Committee of SCBA urging for resumption of the normal functioning of the Supreme Court.

In the letter penned by Dave, the Supreme Court is thanked for the cautious approach adopted by Chief Justice SA Bobde, in the face of COVID-19 pandemic. However, a request is made for the top Court to now resume its normal functioning.

While the Court's restricted functioning and the move towards virtual hearings helped in ensuring the safety and well-being of all concerned in the Supreme Court's ecosystem, the time has now come to return to normal functioning, albeit gradually, the letter points out.

Dave goes on to add that COVID-19 is something that we will have to live with. As such, the letter states,

"Bar has waited patiently since third week of March considering the times. Now that even government of India has allowed graded opening of the Country, I do hope and pray that Bar's just request will indeed receive a positive and immediate response."
Dushyant Dave

Dave's letter also says that this time is critical for beginning an intensive dialogue and conversation between the Bar and the Bench. In this regard, hope is also expressed that the office bearers of not just the SCBA but also of the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) are called at the convenience of the CJI for holding a dialogue.

"Time has come to start an intensive interaction between the Bar and the Bench. I would sincerely urge you to call office bearers of the Supreme Court Bar Association and Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association at the earliest convenience. The meeting may be arranged on Zoom or other platform, which we will be happy to arrange if so directed."
the letter says.

A sub-committee of the SCBA has prepared a blueprint with suggestions for the gradual resumption of normal functioning.

This sub-committee, headed by SCBA Vice President Kailash Vasudev is stated to have considered various aspects which will need to be addressed for returning to normalcy. This blueprint has also been submitted before the CJI for his consideration.

On a parting note, the letter also presses on the importance of Court's regular functioning, stating that lawyers and litigants have been anxious and many lawyers were facing great difficulties on account of stoppage of most litigation work.

While the work put in by the Supreme Court staff, especially the registry in ensuring the smooth functioning of virtual hearings is commendable, it is in the interest of lawyers and litigants for the Court to return to its regular functioning with caution and safety measures in place, the letter says.

Read the letter:

SCBA's Letter to CJI for resumption of normal functioning.pdf

Earlier, the SCAORA had also made a representation before the Supreme Court seeking return to physical hearings citing problems faced by the lawyers in presenting their case effectively through video conferencing.

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Lawyers unable to present cases effectively in virtual hearings, resume physical Court hearings from July: SCAORA urges CJI SA Bobde

Following this, the Supreme Court yesterday also notified that it would explore the feasibility of allowing the physical appearance of lawyers before the Court, if lawyers and parties to the matter send their consent for the same.

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[COVID-19] Supreme Court to consider the feasibility of allowing physical appearance by lawyers upon joint request by all parties
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