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31 Mar 2020, 00:44 HRS IST
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  • SC to hold 2 courts virtually on Wed, hear 15 matters through video-conferencing

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19:35 HRS IST



New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI)
The Supreme Court will hold two virtual courts on Wednesday through video-conferencing on "Vidyo" app to hear certain urgent matters.



The cause list for March 25, which has been uploaded on the apex court's website, showed that two benches of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose will take up these matters.

No court-rooms are specified in the list, which means judges will be hearing 15 matters listed in the cause list from their respective chambers or offices.

The advocates, appearing in these matters, have been asked to address the court through video conferencing mode on personal desktop/laptop or mobile phone or from mediation centre of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC) as directed in the circular of March 23.

The cause list also warned the advocates-on-record not to share video conferencing link with anybody as it will deactivate the original link shared with the advocate on his e-mail. It said that only one link will be activated for video conferencing.

The top court on March 23 had held successful trial of its functioning through video-conferencing and three matters were heard virtually in which judges sat in the courtroom while advocates argued from a different spot in the apex court.

In a circular issued on March 23, the apex court had resorted to almost lockdown like situation to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and suspended the entry of advocates and other staff into the high security zone on the basis of their proximity cards, till further orders.

The top court without specifying any date had said that only one or two courts will sit to take up extremely urgent matters through video conferencing by an app, which will be installed in desktop, laptop or mobile phones.

The top court had also directed that the lawyers' chamber and offices will be closed and advised that advocates should not attend office as no sanitation staffs will be allowed inside.

The circular had said that the matters, which are extremely urgent in nature will be heard virtually through video-conferencing on Vidyo app and lawyers were advised to download the app on their desktop/laptop or mobile phone.

The circular listed out the modalities and issued a standard operating procedure as how the app could be downloaded, how the video-conferencing could be done and how to apply for hearing of the extremely urgent matters.

It said that if the advocate or Party-in-Person is unable to connect through video-conferencing due to non-availability of hardware/network on any given date, then his matter could be taken the next date and he would be required to be present in the video-conference room by indicating in the application their desire to do so.

The circular said that the President and the Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCAORA) may authorise entry of any advocate into the high security zone, on their letter heard, scanned and sent to the Registrar (Administration) ahead of the requested time of entry, specifying the area of visit within High Security Zone and the purpose thereof.

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