Plea in SC seeks hybrid form of court hearings across country

It says paperless e-filing of judicial records and hearing through video-conferencing would save lives.

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking the resumption of physical hearing of cases, alongside the ongoing video-conferencing mode, in all courts and tribunals across the country.

The apex court is presently hearing cases through video-conferencing since March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and several bar bodies and lawyers have been demanding that physical hearing of cases should resume immediately.

However, the fresh public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by lawyer M.L. Sharma in his personal capacity seeks a hybrid mode of hearing, in which the litigants and the lawyers would be free to choose the mode of hearing.

“Be further pleased to issue proper writ direction to the state to provide/arrange video systems for judicial proceedings all over India in the interest of justice,” the plea says.

It says paperless e-filing of judicial records and hearing through video-conferencing would save lives as papers have been found to be carriers of the COVID-19 virus.

“Several registrars and staffers of this court and judges suffered from COVID-19 due to handling of paper books. Several litigants have been facing threats of getting the infection while visiting court premises…,” the plea says.

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