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Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

SC disposes plea filed by SCBA challenging SoP for hybrid physical hearing

ANI | Updated: Mar 23, 2021 14:43 IST


New Delhi [India], March 23 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of the petition filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) challenging the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for hybrid physical hearing issued by the Registry claiming it was issued without consulting the Bar.
The Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed that the matter relates to the administrative working of the Court and on the judicial side, little can be done on this aspect.
As the Bench passed its order, SCBA President Vikas Singh took objection to the order and said, "We have no choice but to take an agitational path."
The top court had earlier called for a report and minutes of meeting from its Secretary-General on the issue of commencing of hybrid mode of hearing from March 15, after SCBA President Vikas Singh claimed that bar members were not consulted before a decision was taken for hybrid hearings.
Expressing reservation in allowing full-fledged physical hearing in the court, Justice Kaul had said that there has been a spike in the number of covid-19 cases in the country as per newspaper reports.

Singh had pleaded with the court to start a physical hearing as many lawyers are "starving" as they are virtually daily wage earners and many of them not earning in the last one year.
The plea of SCBA sought quashing the SOP for hybrid physical hearing before the Court issued by the Registry on March 5 claiming it was issued without consulting the Bar.
It has requested the court to direct the Registry not to issue any circular without consulting the Bar.
The plea said SOP issued without consulting the Bar even though Bar is an equal stakeholder in the dispensation of the justice delivery system and the suggestions given by the Bar ought to have been taken into consideration.
The Supreme Court has decided to begin a hybrid mode of hearing (physical and virtual) on an experimental basis from March 15. Supreme Court said a pilot basis final hearing/regular matters listed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays will be heard through hybrid mode.
Supreme Court has been hearing cases through video-conference mode for almost a year following the nation-wide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI)

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