Video conferencing, Supreme Court
Video conferencing, Supreme Court
Litigation News

[COVID-19] Supreme Court reopens after brief summer break, video conferencing hearings to continue

The Supreme Court has issued fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) guidelines which states that regular matters and matters for final hearing may be listed on Tuesdays through Thursdays starting July 13.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court has reopened after a brief two week summer vacation today and will continue functioning via video conferencing, a notification issued by the Apex Court says.

The Supreme Court has issued fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) guidelines which states that regular matters and matters for final hearing may be listed on Tuesdays through Thursdays, starting July 13. Mondays and Fridays will be earmarked for Miscellaneous matters keeping in line with the usual procedure practised at Supreme Court.

In light of the continually developing situation around the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has, from time to time, notified SOPs for conducting hearings before it while ensuring the safety of the stakeholders.

The circular notifying the fresh SOP guidelines issued on July 4 states that the Court will continue to hear cases via video conferencing from the week commencing Monday, July 6 in view of the COVID-19 related guidelines laid down by the Centre as well as the government of Delhi.

"In order to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), considering the prevailing situation, and taking into account the suggestions received from various quarters and the guidelines issued by the Government of India and Government of NCT of Delhi from time to time, Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India has been pleased to direct the constitution of the Hon’ble Bench(es) for hearing of matters through Virtual Courts w.e.f. 06.07.2020."
- the Circular says.

The week between July 6 and July 10 will be designated for the listing of cases that had been "lying in the pool" and could not be taken up for hearing earlier.

From the week commencing Monday, July 13, the usual practice of miscellaneous and non-miscellaneous days will be followed at the Supreme Court based on the requirement and availability of the Benches. The notification to this effect says,

"With effect from 13.07.2020,subject to availability of matters and also the requirement, the miscellaneous cases may be listed on Monday and Friday. Further subject to directions of the competent authority, after notice matters may also be listed along with fresh matters, giving preference to part heard matters... On non-miscellaneous days i.e. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, miscellaneous matters including final hearing matters and regular matters may be listed, giving preference to part heard matters"

The causelist for any particular day will be published three days in advance and the time of the sitting of each virtual Court will be notified in the causelist.

The Advocates or Parties-in-person would be required to inform the Registry if they would be joining the virtual court hearing through their own setup or if they would like to avail the facilities being provided by the Supreme Court.

The Court shall continue to provide a maximum of two links for Advocates to join the hearing and one viewing link for litigants for these hearings.

The guidelines also specify the detailed procedure to be followed for mentioning, e-filing, as well as for joining the virtual court hearings which remain by and large unchanged. The hearings will continue to be conducted via the VIDYO app.

Read the SOP:

SC Virtual Court SOP - July 4.pdf
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news