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Coronavirus lockdown | Virtual court system in Supreme Court hits a century

The Supreme Court did not stop for even a single day since the pandemic made its presence felt in mid-March and the nation came to a standstill during the months of lockdown.

The court completes 100 days of the virtual court (VC) system, agreeing that things may not be perfect but they are evolving.

A statement issued by the court in Wednesday said 1,021 Benches were constituted since the inception of the virtual court system between March 23 and August 20.

The virtual courts have 15,596 cases on board and have disposed of 4,300 cases approximately. Over 50,000 advocates represented their cases during this period.

The statement even records the number of footfalls — advocates, litigants and mediapersons — to the video conferencing hall at a whopping 65,000.

“Covid-19 infection arrived with the suddenness of an ambush and the ferocity of a fire as it spread across the human communities across the globe. It distinguished itself with deviant behavior, unpredictable symptoms, total camouflage...,” the apex court’s statement said.

The court said the “core functionality” of open court hearings was crippled by the onset and the “sudden lockdown”. The virtual court system was born out of the necessity for an alternative.

The statement said the Supreme Court Registry functioned with 30% staff strength. Though there were no fatalities, 125 staffers and their families were infected.

“No doubt, the VC system needs improvement and its constantly been evolving. Despite all these challenges and hurdles, hearing of more than 15000 matters indicates the success of hearing through video conferencing in Supreme Court of India,” the statement said.

The virtual court system was evolved under the eCommmittee of the Supreme Court chaired by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 5:26:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/virtual-court-system-in-supreme-court-hits-a-century/article32396629.ece

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