Following the path of several other government proceedings now shifting to the digital world, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has permitted online meeting request from Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology chairman Shashi Tharoor. With some days of physical standstill, now several public institutions are grappling with an online lifeline. Supreme Court hearings have trialed video-conferencing, the Prime Minister’s most urgent meetings are now virtually-held, and the National Informatics Centre has started allowing the e-filing system to work from home. Congress MP Tharoor applauded the “welcome precedent” on Monday.
After functioning with a few judges for the last couple of weeks on account of the lockdown, the Supreme Court will see near-full attendance of judges on Tuesday, with 30 of 33 of them taking up matters for hearing. While there will be only one virtual court headed by Justice N V Ramana to hear urgent matters via video conferencing, he and the others will also take up review and curative petitions in their chamber.
Too Close For Comfort
It was supposed to be a graded opening of government offices from Monday. However, the sheer crowd at offices — of public servants coming back to work — has stumped officers. The familiar struggle to find a place to park in official car parking was, unexpectedly, back. Many staff were spotted coming to work on two-wheelers, with colleagues riding pillion. Many officers in internal groups were found discussing that stricter rules needed to be applied for relaxation of government working if social distancing needed to be maintained.