SC adjourns sitting of two courts amid nationwide lockdown

Times India Today | : Mar 25,2020 04:55 PM IST

New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing on matters listed for March 25 in the wake of a 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The cause list for Wednesday, uploaded on the apex court's website, earlier showed two benches of justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant and justices L Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose taking up 15 matters for hearing through videoconferencing.

In a circular issued late Tuesday evening after Modi in his address to the nation announced a complete lockdown of the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the apex court said these 15 matters will not be taken up and the hearing stands adjourned.

No court rooms were specified in the cause list, which means judges were to hear the 15 matters from their respective chambers or offices.

The advocates appearing in these matters were asked to address the court through videoconferencing mode on personal desktop/laptop or mobile phone or from mediation centre of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC) as directed in a circular on March 23.

The cause list had also warned the advocates-on-record not to share videoconferencing link with others as it will deactivate the original link shared with the advocate on his e-mail. It said that only one link will be activated for video conferencing.

The top court on March 23 had held successful trial of its functioning through videoconferencing and three matters were heard virtually in which judges sat in the courtroom while advocates argued from a different spot in the apex court.

In a circular issued the same day, the apex court resorted to almost a lockdown- like situation to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and suspended the entry of advocates and other staff into the high security zone on the basis of their proximity cards till further orders.

The top court without specifying any date had said that only one or two courts will sit to take up extremely urgent matters through videoconferencing by an app, which will be installed in desktop, laptop or mobile phones.

The top court had also directed that the lawyers' chamber and offices will be closed, and advised that advocates should not attend office as no sanitation staffs will be allowed inside.

The circular had said that matters extremely urgent in nature will be heard virtually on "Vidyo" app and lawyers were advised to download the app on their desktop/laptop or mobile phone.

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