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The Supreme Court has notified the six Division Benches that will sit on Monday, March 16, instead of the Full Court in light of the outbreak of novel corona virus.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court had published a notification declaring that the Apex Court will have only limited and restricted functioning for hearing urgent matters. The notification stated that only such number of Benches will sit in the week commencing March 16 as may be found appropriate.
Pursuant to the same, six Division Benches have been notified that will assemble in the Apex Court beginning March 16 instead of the Full Court. These Benches are:
- Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah
- Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran
- Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari
- Justices DY Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta
- Justices Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat
- Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sanjiv Khanna
These Benches will take up matters for hearing and a revised causelist to that effect will be published on Saturday, March 14. The Benches that will sit on subsequent days of the week and the causelist of cases that will be taken up by those Benches will be notified at a later stage.
The decision to restrict the functioning of the Supreme Court was taken after a meeting was convened at the residence of CJI SA Bobde on Thursday evening. The options of either extending the Holi break or to have limited functioning of the Court were considered and the decision taken thus was notified on Friday evening.
The meeting was attended by Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit, Attorney General for India KK Venugopal, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representatives from the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association, as well as officials from the Union Health and Law Ministries.
Subsequently, the notification announcing restricted functioninged, which among other things, sattes that:
- no persons except the lawyers who are going to act in the matter, i.e. either for argument or for making oral submissions or to assist along with one litigant only, shall be permitted in the court room.
- Mentioning of matters will be made before the Mentioning Officer only
The Supreme Court was on a week-long break for Holi and was scheduled to reopen for regular functioning on March 16. During the week-long break, the Supreme Court had constituted a vacation bench to hear matters of urgent nature on two days - March 9 and 12.