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On the designated mentioning link/e-filing module of the High Court, around 94% of the Advocates indicated their preferred mode of hearing as ‘virtual' mode.
After an experimental run of 14 days, the Delhi High Court has decided to continue the graded physical hearing in its premises.
The number of Benches that would sit for physical hearings have, however, been reduced in view of the rising COVID-19 cases.
As per the roster effective from September 15 to October 8, three Benches would conduct court proceedings through physical mode. Benches would continue to sit on a rotation basis.
The decision to not discontinue physical hearing was taken in a Full Court meeting of the High Court.
Sources informed Bar & Bench that during physical hearings, most of the Advocates expressed their inability, reluctance or unwillingness to appear physically and large number of requests were received for taking up the matters through videoconferencing.
Nonetheless, the criminal jurisdiction of the High Court witnessed a considerable number of physical appearances.
Further, on the designated mentioning link/e-filing module of the High Court, around 94% of the Advocates indicated their preferred mode of hearing as ‘virtual' mode.
Despite the adverse circumstances, which included several staff testing positive for COVID-19, the Full Court resolved to continue with the physical hearing albeit with a suitable number of Benches.
The Principal District & Sessions Judges have also been asked to review the requirement of the number of physical courts in their respective Districts and to send a report for consideration by the Committee constituted for Preparation of Graded Action Plan.
Recently, several advocates, including Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar had written to the Chief Justice, Delhi High Court urging him to re-consider continuation of physical hearings.
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