- Apprentice Lawyer
The Patna High Court has introduced a ‘Hybrid Model basis’, with cases being taken up for hearing through both physical and virtual modes.
Under this model, which has been started on a pilot basis for an initial period for two weeks, 25 cases are listed before every Single Judge Bench and Division Bench on a daily basis for physical hearing.
Apart from this, a reservoir pool of 200 cases is created for the coming two weeks, from which cases shall be picked up on a daily basis for being heard through virtual mode after exhausting the list of cases to be heard through physical mode.
Apart from the 25 cases listed for hearing through physical mode, 5 cases are listed for hearing through virtual mode. These include bail matters, fresh matters, writ petitions of an urgent nature, etc.
The cause list issued for January 4, 2021 also notes that subject to the convenience of the judges, after completing these (25 physical + 5 virtual) case hearings, the concerned judge may start taking up cases from the reservoir of 200-215 odd cases.
If the reservoir gets exhausted before the next two weeks, a fresh pool of cases will be prepared.
In this way, the High Court plans to have physical hearings of around 125-150 cases per week per judge or Bench and virtual hearings of around 100-125 cases per week per judge.
This Hybrid Model, started as a pilot project, has been started after much deliberation by the IT committee of the Court headed by Chief Justice Sanjay Karol.
The detailed instructions in respect of the project are available on the official website of the Patna High Court.
The hybrid model has been much under discussion recently with the COVID-19 pandemic subsiding gradually.
Recently, Justice Gautam Patel of the Bombay High Court commented during a virtual discussion:
“With a complete resumption of physical hearing not in near sight, what is to be looked at is hybrid pattern of resumption hearing coupled with virtual hearing of cases.”