supreme court covid 19 law insider

SCBA Elections: AIIMS advises to conduct elections via virtual mode; cautions spread of Covid-19

Umamageswari Maruthappan

The All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has advised the Top Court to conduct the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Elections through online voting cautioning it about the spread of Covid-19.

“In view of the probability of spread of Covid in large congregation and feasibility of elections to be conducted on secure online platform, it is desirable that the elections are done on online platform only,” the AIIMS Health Advisory Team suggested through its letter sent to the Top Court on 10th February 2021.

The Supreme Court Bar Association elections scheduled on 27th February 2021. The Apex Court had allowed the elections to be held in a hybrid system with having both physical and online voting facilities.

However, the Apex Court had also sought an advise from the AIIMS Committee with regards to physical voting process. Accordingly, the Additional Registrar of the Top Court forwarded a request to the Top Medical Institute.

Earlier, the an Election Committee headed by Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta suggested the election to be done only via online modes. However, following some disagreements from the Executive Committee of the SCBA, the Election Committee members resigned.

Thereafter, a new Election Committee was set up which agreed for a hybrid election process subject to the advise of the health advisory.

The current statement of the AIIMS team manifests its interest in maintaining the virtual system which also puts a check on the Supreme Court’s opinion of resuming physical hearings by March 2021.

Several litigants, lawyers and others jurists, including the SCBA are urging for resumption of physical court proceedings and a bunch of petitions in this regard was placed before the Apex Court. The Top Court marked its words hinting at resuming physical hearings from March 2021.