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HC to continue physical hearings on experimental basis till at least January 8

In the midst of the pandemic, Bombay HC has issued Standard Operating Procedures continuing with physical hearing instead of virtual hearing till January 8.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: December 5, 2020 10:24:14 am
The Bombay High Court. (Express Photo/File)

The Bombay High Court on Friday, through its registrar general, issued an order stating that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued on November 27 for the resumption of physical hearings at its principal seat in Mumbai will continue on an experimental basis till at least January 8.

This came after the associations representing thousands of lawyers and senior advocates wrote to Chief Justice (CJ) Dipankar Datta seeking “to defer the holding of physical courts for time being, and at the very least allow lawyers the option of appearing virtually should they feel at risk.”

Read|Explained: Why are lawyers in Maharashtra opposing a move to restart compulsory physical hearings?

The order noted that the CJ Datta, along with Justice G S Kulkarni, took a round of the HC building on December 3, when the courts were in session, and did not find any overcrowding. Members of the bar (advocates) also expressed satisfaction on resumption of physical hearings.

The order stated: “In an informal gathering of judges of the administrative committee of the high court held on December 4, the judges were of the view that experiment to open up more courts for physical hearings while maintaining prescribed Covid-19 norms has not shown any adverse result. On the contrary, physical hearings have been smooth and seamless, and beneficial not only for the judges but also for advocates…”

“All judges in one voice expressed in favour of continuation of physical hearings in tune with SOPs till January 8,” it added.

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