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Coronavirus | Supreme Court lawyers warn against resuming physical hearing

The panel is led by Justice N.V. Ramana.

The panel is led by Justice N.V. Ramana.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Over 220 lawyers practising in the Supreme Court have written to the seven-member committee of Supreme Court judges, led by Justice N.V. Ramana, saying it is too early to safely resume physical court hearings in the apex court amid the pandemic.

The letter is in response to the committee’s “in-principle” recommendation of the resumption of physical court hearings in two or three courtrooms on a trial basis in a fortnight.

The letter addressed to the Secretary of the committee said the lawyers had sounded their objections to the Supreme court Bar Association and the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association.

“The number of persons getting infected with the virus has increased to about 67,000 per day as on August 12, 2020 with Delhi showing an increase by about 1,100 persons. The number of infected persons is expected to increase every day and may reach 1,00,000 in next 10 days,” the lawyers, including Advocates-on-Record Anil Sharma, Pradeep Kumar Gupta and Sriram Parakkat along with 223 others, wrote.

They said physical hearings would only increase the risk of transmission of infection to court rooms.

“This will expose judges, staff and lawyers to increased risk of contracting the infection. Further, Union of India has not relaxed social distancing norms for the reason of preventing community spread,” they said.

They pointed out that medical experts continue to be against physical hearings. “The infection has the potential of casting psychological, social and economic costs in terms of depression, getting ostracised and financial over runs of treatment with additional fear of death looming large on the infected person,” they said.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 10:40:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-lawyers-warn-against-resuming-physical-hearing/article32364104.ece

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