Physical hearing in Court: CJI states fatalities will increase

Tanvi Sinha

The Supreme Court passed an order, ruling against a petition to re-open courts stating that if they did so, it would cause fatalities.

The petition was brought in by Nilakshi Chaudhry, a lawyer and the cause was further supported along with her petition by several pleas filed by the Bar Associations.

A three-judge bench of CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna, and V Ramasubramanian had heard the matter in the course of which the remark was made by the CJI.

It was also noted that several Courts had earlier reopened their physical sessions but had to close them again after some time because of a rise in Covid-19 cases. Amongst these were the Madras High Court and Rajasthan High Court.

However, the court still stated that regardless of this, they were regularly looking into physically opening the courts and would do exactly so, when the time comes.

The matter was brought to the court after Lawyer Nilakasha Chaudhary filed the petition, where she spoke of online hearings not being able to facilitate everyone and hence being unconstitutional.

There were in fact even bar associations that spoke of the loss of work during the pandemic because of the closing of the courts along with certain state bar councils speaking of standing as a guarantee if Centre were to give interest-free loans to lawyers.

This refers back to 7th July when the Bar Council moved SC to ask centre and state to give lawyers 7 lakh rupees worth of loans.

The Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta appreciated the Supreme Court and stated, “In a huge country like ours, the top court has not stopped the administration of justice even for a day. That is salutary,” and further assured the Supreme Court that he would refer to the matter of the no-interest loans being lent to Lawyers to the Centre.

Despite all this, many courts have plans of starting physical sessions soon. This includes Madras High Court which has planned to start sessions from 18th January, 2021.