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Supreme Court reopens for physical hearing for first time since March 2020, read new SOPs

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The Supreme Court of India on Thursday reopened for physical hearings for the first time since March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. The apex court had recently issued new SOPs for hybrid hearings. As per the new rules, all cases on Wednesdays and Thursdays are to be heard only in the physical presence of the counsels/parties in courtrooms.

The Supreme Court Bar Association had urged the Chief Justice to return to the physical mode of hearing since the COVID-19 cases have decreased considerably.

On the other hand, senior lawyers like Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, senior advocate Kapil Sibal among others had urged Chief Justice of India N V Ramana not to make the physical hearings mandatory.

What modified SOP states

It gives an option to the lawyers to opt for either physical or virtual mode of hearing on Tuesdays.

As per new SOPs, there will be a 15-minute break at the discretion of the Bench during physical hearings.

Modified rules state that the courtrooms have to be vacated during this interval for being sanitised.

Lawyers would be called one after the other. They can wait at the Bar lounges for their cases to be called.

The new SOPs for lawyers state that these rules have been made to avoid crowds in the corridors.

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Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com

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