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One virtual court can hear 40 cases a day through video conferencing: Supreme Court

The fresh SOP issued Sunday by the top court stated that fresh cases, which could have been listed for hearing before the pandemic-triggered lockdown, will be listed and heard first.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday observed that one virtual court (VC) can hear as many as 40 matters through video-conferencing in a day.

The apex court has been holding hearings through video conferencing since March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It had suspended the entry of advocates and other staff into the high security zone on the basis of their proximity cards, till further orders.

A bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Indu Malhotra and Aniruddha Bose, after concluding hearings on the cases listed today, observed that 40 matters, instead of 20, can be easily heard by a bench through video conferencing if the arguing counsels leave the virtual courtroom (screen space) just after finishing their cases.

Justice Banumathi said that she will talk to Chief Justice S A Bobde on the issue.

As per earlier standard operating procedures (SOPs) notified by the apex court, only few urgent matters were getting listed for hearing before the virtual courts (VCs).

The fresh SOP issued on Sunday by the top court stated that fresh cases, which could have been listed for hearing before the pandemic-triggered lockdown, will be listed and heard first.

After the exhaustion of this pool of fresh matters, the short category matters will be listed, the circular on fresh SOP said.

The fresh SOP assumed significance as the apex court has decided to postpone its summer vacation by five weeks and declared that it would remain functional from May 18 to June 19.


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