March 25, 2021 3:45:39 am
Upset over the non-resumption of full physical hearings in the Supreme Court and its concerns about the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued for hybrid hearings not being addressed satisfactorily, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Wednesday warned of “strong steps to restore the status of the Bar as an equal stakeholder in” the top court.
The letter comes a day after a bench of Justices S K Kaul and R Subhash Reddy closed proceedings in the SCBA’s writ petition contesting the SOP — which the association said was drawn up without consulting it. The bench said it was an administrative issue and there was little it could do on the judicial side.
In a letter to Chief Justice of India, SCBA President Senior Advocate Vikas Singh recalled the developments related to hearings in the court since the beginning of the lockdown last year and culminating in filing of the writ petition.
The letter said that the matter was listed for hearing on Tuesday “when the court informed us that the Judges Committee have already looked into everything and accordingly there is no need for a further meeting”. “We were also told that if the Bar has any problem with the SOP, they may write to the Registrar. We are now constrained to take strong steps to restore the status of the Bar as an equal stakeholder in this institution,” stated the letter, also sent to six other judges on the Judges Committee — dealing with issues regarding resumption of physical hearing.
The SCBA letter also complained about it not being allotted an auditorium to conduct the farewell event on the occasion of retirement of Justice Indu Malhotra last week and said it “reflected…the condescending manner in which the judges treat the Bar”.
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