Supreme Court: A 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and L. Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant, JJ said it was mulling a shutdown amid rising coronavirus cases in the country. The Court opted to hold video-conference to hear urgent matters in an unprecedented move.
CJI S A Bobde said,
“I will take a call by today itself on possible shut down or pre-poning summer vacation, as demanded by lawyer bodies.”
Earlier, the Court had issued notice that on Monday hearing will take place only in the CJI’s court at 11:00 AM.
The Supreme Court has also ordered the lawyers’ chambers inside the Court premises to be closed down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“All lawyers’ chambers in and around SC premises to be sealed by Tuesday evening,”
Here are the steps taken by the Court in the wake of Corona virus:
- there will be no more in-person hearings until further orders
- Court will conduct video-conferencing to hear extremely urgent matters and a bench of two judges will be available for this.
- there will be no gathering of lawyers in top court premises till further orders. The Court will cancel all proximity cards (entry cards) to dissuade lawyers from coming to court.
“only the Supreme Court Bar Association president can authorise lawyers to enter court premises for urgent reasons.”
- Court to take a call today on shutting down the Court or pre-poning summer vacation.
The Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association had passed a resolution on Sunday saying none of their members will appear in the court till April 4. They have also appealed to CJI Bobde to close down the court premises in “the best interest of the health of the bar and bench.” It also underlined that in view of the closing of Delhi borders and suspension of the metro services, advocates from Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurugram would not be able to reach the Supreme Court.
The confirmed cases in the country soared to 415 on Monday even as the government ordered lockdown of 80 districts across 17 states and five Union Territories including all seven districts in Delhi. India has also recorded seven deaths due to the viral infection so far.