Supreme Court judges to work from home after 50% staff test positive

Supreme Court judges to work from home after 50% staff test positive

law
Indira Chetry
  • Apr 12, 2021,
  • Updated Jun 29, 2022, 12:48 AM IST

NEW DELHI: With half of its workers testing positive for Covid, the Supreme Court said on Monday that all judges would work from home and the benches would meet through video links.

On Saturday alone, 44 out of the 90 staffers subjected to tests turned Covid-19 positive, sparking panic among some judges.

The Supreme court's rooms are being sanitized and the benches will be assembled an hour later than planned, said reports.

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With the number of Covid positive cases among workers and their families suddenly increasing to alarming levels, the CJI and judges determined that extreme vigilance was needed to avoid a repeat of last year's situation, in which six SC judges were infected with Coronavirus.

There is sufficient bandwidth and links available with the SC to avoid interruption during the virtual hearing of cases, with the SC E-Committee, led by Justice D Y Chandrachud, proactively purchasing 1,600 video links for the purpose of conducting hearings of cases via video-conferencing.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, the current president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, had been pleading with the CJI and other judges to resume a full physical hearing in the Supreme Court only a month ago.

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Singh was claiming that the young lawyers' finances were being harmed by the courts' refusal to open for physical hearings.

If the Supreme Court had caved in to public pressure and opened the courts to physical hearings, the courts would have been a breeding ground for the propagation of the Covid disease, given the large numbers of lawyers and litigants who assemble every day for hearings from all over the country.

Given the influx of Covid cases in Delhi, the Delhi High Court, which had boldly agreed to open the courts for physical hearings, has closed its doors to lawyers and reverted to virtual hearings.

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