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Social distancing is duty not discretion during pandemic: SC | India News – Times of India




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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday institutionalised video-conferencing during lockdown interval and stated each particular person and establishment should implement measures designed by well being authorities and governments to cut back the unfold of Covid-19.
While offering modalities to be used of video-conferencing amenities for listening to of pressing instances and even recording of proof, a bench of CJI S A Bobde, Justices L Nageswara Rao and D Y Chandrachud stated, “Faced with the unprecedented and extraordinary outbreak of a pandemic, it is necessary that courts at all levels respond to the call of social distancing and ensure that court premises do not contribute to the spread of the virus. This is not a matter of discretion but duty.”
It stated, “It is necessary to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines issued from time to time by various health authorities, government of India and states. Court hearing in congregation must necessarily become an exception during this period.”
Using its extraordinary powers below Article 142 of the Constitution, the bench tried to institutionalise the use of video conferencing amenities for listening to of pressing issues by HCs and trial courts, a consensus which had emerged administratively arrived on Friday during a video-assembly between SC e-committee head Justice Chandrachud and judges heading e-committees of 23 excessive courts.
The CJI-led bench authorised the SC and HCs to undertake acceptable “measures required to ensure the robust functioning of the judicial system through video conferencing technologies consistent with peculiarities of judicial system in every state and dynamically developing public health situation.”
The courtroom got here to a sequence of selections after listening to legal professional common Okay Venugopal, solicitor common Tushar Mehta, Justice division secretary Barun Mitra, Director common of NIC Neeta Verma and advocates Vikas Singh and Shivaji M Jadhav.
SC bench stated, “District Courts in each state shall adopt mode of video conferencing prescribed by the concerned High Court. The Court shall duly notify and make available the facilities for video conferencing for such litigants who do not have the means or access to video conferencing facilities.”
It stated until additional orders video-conferencing shall be the mode of listening to of instances for all three-tiers of judiciary. However, it clarified that trial courts shall not report proof by way of video-conferencing with out consent of each events.
“If it is necessary to record evidence in a courtroom, the presiding officer shall ensure that appropriate distance is maintained between any two individuals in the court. The presiding officer shall have the power to restrict entry of people into the court room or the points from which the arguments are addressed by the advocates. No presiding officer shall prevent the entry of a party to the case unless such party is suffering from any infectious illness. However, where the number of litigants are many the presiding officer shall have the power to restrict the numbers. The presiding officer shall in his discretion adjourn the proceedings where it is not possible to restrict the number,” it stated and posted the suo motu taken up case for additional listening to after 4 weeks.
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