SC Bar Association urges CJI to resume physical hearing in top court

SCBA President and senior advocate Vikas Singh in the letter to the CJI said considering that the pandemic in the country has been very much in control in the last two weeks requested for the opening of the top court in physical mode.
Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

New Delhi

SCBA President and senior advocate Vikas Singh in the letter to the CJI said considering that the pandemic in the country has been very much in control in the last two weeks requested for the opening of the top court in physical mode. 
The letter stated that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has decided to reopen schools, colleges, and gyms in Delhi with effect from February 7 and offices are now allowed to function with a 100 per cent capacity. 
It added that in Delhi the positivity rate has come down to 3.85 per cent as of date. "The position on February 4, 2022, as far as Covid bed occupancy is concerned is that in hospitals, out of 15,426 Covid beds only 1200 (i.e. 7.78 per cent) are occupied. In the dedicated Covid Care Centre, out of 4,626 beds, only 138 beds (i.e. 2.98 per cent) are occupied and in the dedicated Covid Health Centre, of the 198 beds, only 5 beds (i.e. 2.53 per cent) are occupied. Considering the above situation, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has decided to reopen schools, colleges, and gyms in Delhi with effect from February 7, 2022. Offices are now allowed to function with a 100 per cent capacity and gyms will open with restrictions, the DDMA order added. 
Schools for nursery to class 8 will reopen from February 14," it added. In these circumstances there is no justification to not open the Supreme Court for full physical hearing on all 5 days forthwith, the letter stated. 
The letter further said, "As has been demonstrated in the earlier phase of physical hearing in November-December 2021, the lawyers will continue wearing their masks and abide by the Covid protocol as long as the same is in place."
The hearing in open Court is both the convention and the constitutional requirement in the Supreme Court. It is therefore requested that physical hearing in Supreme Court be resumed forthwith as it was pre-pandemic, it said. 
In view of the rising number of Omicron variants of Covid cases during the third wave, the apex court on January 2, 2022, had decided to shift to the virtual system of hearings from January 3. 
Suspending the physical and hybrid option of the hearing, the apex court had decided to shift to a complete virtual hearing. By another circular, the top court judges decided to work from their residential offices.

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