Chief Justice to decide soon if 
virtual courts will continue or not

On the first day of the Bombay High Court's physical hearing, several associations of advocates met the Chief Justice on Tuesday urging him to allow litigants to continue with virtual hearings too.

The associations met the administrative committee of the HC headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta.

"The chief justice patiently heard the contentions of all the parties," said senior counsel Dr Birendra Saraf, who is also the secretary of Bombay Bar Association (BBA).

"The chief justice has said he would take a final decision after consulting other judges of the HC," Saraf added.

Notably, the BBA and also some other associations had last week made a representation to the chief justice urging him to allow advocates to continue to use the virtual forum to appear before the courts. The associations had requested the administrative committee to consider allowing advocates to choose either virtual or physical forums.

Several other lawyers, however, supported the decision to resume physical hearings and said that if precautions of social distancing and wearing masks were taken, they have no objection.

Meanwhile, the HC resumed its physical hearings from Tuesday morning, wherein only advocates, whose matters were called out were allowed to enter the court hall to argue and rest others were ordered to wait in the corridors.

On Tuesday, in the high court, lawyers were asked to wait in adjacent rooms until their matters were called out.

Chairs had been placed at distance from each other, and the police personnel stationed at the gates checked the temperature of those entering the premises.

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