Return to open court hearings after lockdown: SC Bar Association urges CJI

The SCBA appreciates the need for incorporation of technological and scientific advancement in the working of the judiciary
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has urged the Chief Justice of India that open court hearings should be restored at the earliest once the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown is lifted.

In a letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and other companion judges of the Supreme Court, SCBA stated that the Supreme Court proceedings being conducted by video conferencing must be limited to the time period of the present crisis, and video conferencing should not become the "New Normal' and should not replace the "Open Court Hearings".

"It is well settled that in general, all cases brought before the courts, whether civil, criminal, or others, must be heard in open court. A public trial in open court is undoubtedly essential for the healthy, objective and fair administration of justice," the SCBA wrote.


"Once the lockdown is lifted and once the Ministry of Health permits, the Open Court Hearings should commence with social distancing and crowd management measures being made mandatory inside the Court premises, and live streaming, as well as a daily transcription of court proceedings, be continued along," SCBA added.

The SCBA appreciates the need for incorporation of technological and scientific advancement in the working of the judiciary and fully supports the utilisation of technology and digitisation for proper case management, digitisation of the records, digitisation of case files, the functioning of the Registry, early disposal of cases and also for crowd management in courts, the letter further read.


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