February 24, 2021 3:55:55 pm
A plea was moved in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday by a lawyer seeking that the decision to commence physical hearings by all judges from March 15 be deferred till the time all the advocates are vaccinated against COVID-19.
The high court on February 20 had issued office orders stating that all of its judges and those of the subordinate courts shall commence physical proceedings on all days from March 15.
Presently, subordinate courts hold physical hearings on alternate days and 11 benches of the high court hold physical proceedings daily.
The petition by advocate Manashwy Jha has sought that either the lawyers and their staff be vaccinated by treating them at par with frontline health workers or in the alternative to defer the implementation of the February 20 office order till the time all the advocates and their staff are vaccinated.
Jha, in his plea, has claimed that the danger of COVID-19 was “far from over” as cases in Delhi may have reduced considerably, but in the states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Kerala the pandemic numbers were still rising and there was every likelihood that the impact of the same might be felt in the national capital soon due to lack of restrictions in the movement of people.
He has contended that lawyers and their staff would be prone to the infection after complete physical reopening of courts and the same would affect the smooth functioning of the courts and the disposal of the cases.
The petition has said that from August 2020 to October 2020 the high court disposed of a total of 4,015 cases by hearing the same through virtual mode and it proved that technology can easily be adopted for the hearing and disposal of the matters.
It has urged the high court to continue to hear the matters as it is doing presently till all the lawyers are vaccinated.
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