MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Friday said it would continue its physical hearing on an experimental basis, but with one liberty.
Chief justice Dipankar Datta decided to continue the new November 27 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) set out from December 1 2020, to January 10, 2021, but with liberty to lawyers “to approach each individual bench to consider desirability of fixing separate boards for morning and afternoon sessions to facilitate further smooth and seamless physical hearings in accordance with Covid norms and protocols.”
Lawyers’ associations met the CJ on Tuesday seeking a gradual entry to normalcy of physical hearings form the virtual courts, while others wholly supported the new SOP. On Thursday, the CJ and justice Girish Kulkarni took a round of the HC while the courts were in session and “did not find any overcrowding, as alleged in some of the representations, either on the corridors or in the Bar rooms,’’ said the order signed by registrar general S G Dige on Friday.
Lawyers they interacted with expressed satisfaction with resumption of physical hearing after months of waiting.
The order said, with no incident till date to warrant discontinuation of the experimental physical hearing, it would continue.
The physical hearing, says the order, has “obviated’’ the loss of precious judicial hours, at times, while hearings were conducted through virtual mode due to lack of proper connectivity.