Supreme Court has decided to continue online hearings on miscellaneous days for accessibility of justice through virtual courts: CJI N.V. Ramana

In order to ensure that the Supreme Court remain assessable to lawyers from different parts of the country, The Chief justice of India NV Ramana, after consultation with the brother and sister judges of the top court has decided to continue online hearings on miscellaneous days i.e., Mondays and Fridays.

The CJI said “I am not aware if centre has expressed its views on the subject but in the same spirit of accessibility, in consultation with my brother and sister judges of Supreme Court continued the hearing online on miscellaneous days”.

A Member of Parliament, Senior Advocate P Wilson had introduced a private members bill to have regional benches of Supreme Court, The CJI noted.

CJI NV Ramana pointed out even on non-miscellaneous days i.e., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the lawyers can appear online while taking permissions from Court.

The CJI said” Even on non-miscellaneous days advocates can still take permission of the court and can appear online and thus enabled advocates from all over the country to continue their practices before the Supreme Court. I hope this practise will continue in future also”.

CJI NV Ramana said that he hopes that the practice that was adopted in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic will be the norm in the future with the support of Bar Associations and the Bar Council of India.

CJI NV Ramana also stated that he had taken up the issue with the Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju as well.

The CJI pointed out that will go back to physical hearing from Monday onwards, virtual hearing links for Monday and Friday was requested by some Senior Lawyers. We will provide Links if Lawyers want” Justice NV Ramana said as soon as the bench who also included Justice Surya Kant and Hima Kohli commenced its business for the day. The Supreme Court had reverted to physical hearing from April,4 2022, an option is still provided to litigants and lawyers to appear virtually for their cases.

The court’s normal functioning was interrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Physical hearing started on October 21, 2021 but were shut down because of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court reverted to physical hearing of cases on Wednesdays and Thursdays from February 14, after significant decline in cases.

A petition was filled by National Federation of Societies for Fast Justice along with Former Central Information Commissioner (CIC) and RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi and Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro for seeking access to justice through Virtual Courts as a matter of Fundamental Rights for litigants.

The Indian Parliament’s winter session of 2018 witnessed the introduction of a Bill that had never been seen before, at least in the Indian workplace. Ms. Supriya Sule, a member of Parliament for the Nationalist Congress Party, submitted a Private Member’s Bill to allow employees to refuse answer any call or emails after work hours and no disciplinary action shall be taken for the same.

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