Supreme Court resumes physical hearings as Covid cases droptext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India has decided to resume physical hearings following a steep decline in Covid-19 cases across the country. Issuing notification on Monday evening, the top court administration said that SOP dated October 7, 2021 will stand revived from February 14.
Physical hearings will resume on Wednesdays and Thursdays from February 14 onwards. "Hybrid hearings" combining online and offline procedures will be conducted on Tuesdays while Mondays and Fridays will be reserved for online procedures only, the notification states. Three lawyers per party will be allowed inside courtrooms while clerks can carry files up to courts, the SOP stated.
The fresh notification issued on Monday has referred to a "significant decline in the number of Covid-19 cases and positivity rate", and recent orders issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on opening educational institutions and other establishments in the national capital.
A statement issued by the secretary general of the Supreme Court on Monday said the decision was taken by the Chief Justice of India in consultation with the Committee of Judges. The apex court is reviving the modified standard operating procedure (SOP) it had issued on October 7 last year after the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic had eased.
The top court had shifted to complete virtual hearings from January 2 in the wake of the onslaught of a severe third wave of Covid-19 infections, which was caused by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. On Saturday, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) wrote to the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana urging to resume physical hearing with strict compliance to Covid protocols.
Delhi on Monday continued to show a downward trend in its daily tally of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) after 1,151 infections were recorded during the day. The national capital now has 7,885 active cases with a positivity rate of 2.62 %.