Supreme Court to start hybrid physical hearings from March 15

New Delhi, (the states. news) The Supreme Court, which is hearing cases through video-conferencing in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic, is all set to commence hybrid physical hearing on an experimental basis from March 15.

This is the first step towards resuming physical hearings in the Apex Court, which is hearing virtually since March 15.

The final hearing/regular matters listed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays may be heard in the hybrid (physical and virtual) mode.

“All other matters, including those listed on Mondays and Fridays shall continue to be heard through video/tele-conferencing mode”, Standard Operating Procedure issued by the top court said on Friday.

It said unless otherwise directed by a bench, the final hearings or regular matters where the number of lawyers for the parties is higher than the average working capacity of the courtrooms according to Covid-19 norms, that is 20 per courtroom at any given time, shall invariably be listed for hearing through the video or tele-conferencing mode.

According to the SOP, in case of a matter directed to be listed for hybrid hearing by the bench, none of the parties opts for physical hearing, the matter would be taken up for hearing through video/tele-conferencing.

“At the designated waiting area(s), volunteers may also guide the Advocates-on-Records/Counsels further, as and when their turn comes for entering the designated Court Room for hearing” the SOP read.

Notably, the Supreme Court has set up vaccination facilities for sitting and retired judges and their families; the inoculative drive began earlier this week.    (uni) (media