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"If courts do not resume normal functioning like the executive and the legislature, our institution would be failing in its duty which would be highly detrimental to the faith which it enjoys", the letter states.
Senior Advocate BL Pavecha has written to the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court seeking the immediate resumption of regular court proceedings, as opposed to the Court’s decision to hear only urgent matters through video conferencing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In his letter, Pavecha raises concern that lawyers are unfamiliar with the process of video conferencing. He goes on to highlight that a virtual court hearing is a “very poor substitute” for hearings in open court.
Stating that these constraints prevent final hearings from “being listed or taken up” by the High Court as well as the Subordinate Courts, Pavecha has now urged the Courts to resume normal functioning.
Senior Advocate BL Pavecha
Since the elimination of COVID-19 will not be possible for the foreseeable future, and other offices have begun the process of resuming their ordinary functioning, Senior Advocate Pavecha presses for Courts to do the same as well. A failure to do so would gravely injure “public interest”, he writes.
In this regard Pavecha also adds there are mounting arrears of civil matters, writ petitions seeking urgent relief and criminal cases involving undertrial prisoners who have been in jail for years.
He submits further that the restricted working of courts over the last three or so months has subjected the vast majority of advocates, clerks and all others dependent on them to a state of “forced misery and penury.”
In this backdrop, Pavecha has requested the Chief Justice to take an “immediate” decision on regular Court functioning, adding that the same may be done with necessary directions and guidelines at the earliest.