Indore (Madhya Pradesh): With the coronavirus outbreak and a pause in our every-day activities especially social gathering and in-person meetings, the entire system was baffled including courts. However, Madhya Pradesh was the first state to conduct virtual conferences for hearings and has set a record by resolving over 980 consumer disputes in such hearings.
“Times have been challenging for everyone since corona outbreak, but justice delayed often seems like justice denied. So, MP led the way for country by being among the first to start virtual hearings,” Rajeev M Apte, registrar, Madhya Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (MPSRDC), said.
He added that it was challenging at first, but eventually, with required modifications and protocols, state and district courts were able to smoothly conduct hearings and even provide verdicts. “With sunny side up, we too did not stop and were able to resolve more than 980 cases from July 1, 2020, to February 1, 2021,” Apte said.
As notified by Additional Registrar, Supreme Court earlier this month, the summer vacation was advanced this year due to surge in Covid-19 cases. The Registrar had notified that the summer vacation will be from May 10 - June 27, 2021. Courts were scheduled to reopen on June 28, 2021.
After the vacation, MPSRDC has restarted hearings, but continues to conduct hearings via virtual conferences to ensure that there is no gathering of people. “There is a still a chance and possibility of third wave of coronavirus, so we don’t want to risk. But to ensure justice, hearings will continue online and cases will be resolved as best as possible,” Apte said.