44 Supreme Court employees test positive, all judges to switch to virtual courts

44 Supreme Court employees test positive, all judges to switch to virtual courts
All the judges of the Supreme Court will be holding court proceedings from their residences on Monday and the benches would sit one hour later than their scheduled time in the morning as around 44 staffers have tested positive for coronavirus, sources said. On some media reports which suggested that around 50 per cent of staffers of the Supreme Court have tested positive for coronavirus, an apex court official said only 44 employees got infected in the last week. There are around 3,000 staffers working in the apex court. While some judges had been coming to the apex court premises to hold court, few others have been presiding over proceedings from their residences till now. Amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the apex court has come out with two separate notifications. The apex court has also issued a notification that the benches, which used to assemble at 10.30 AM, would assemble one hour late on Monday. “Take notice that on 12.04.2021 (Monday), all the benches which are scheduled to sit at 10.30 a.m. will sit at 11.30 a.m. and those scheduled to sit at 11.00 a.m. will sit at 12.00 noon,” a notice issued by the Supreme Court Additional Registrar states.  Another notice states that physical mentioning of matters before the Supreme Court benches has also been halted, but will continue over the virtual medium.  Bar and Bench reports that for the first time in nine months, all Supreme Court judges will be holding hearings from their respective residences and will not be coming to the apex court premises to hold hearings from behind the glass-panelled courtrooms, as they have been doing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sources told Bar and Bench that this was being done as the National Informatics Centre (NIC) is conducting a system overhaul.

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