Lockdown anniversary: Courts delivered justice despite COVID-19 pandemic challenges - SARKARI JOB INDIAN

Lockdown anniversary: Courts delivered justice despite COVID-19 pandemic challenges

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New Delhi: Even as the COVID-19 pandemic posed unprecedented challenges before the nation a year ago, it could not affect the functioning of the judiciary, which despite all odds, delivered justice adopting the virtual mode of proceedings. It also served as an opportunity to test the robustness of its digital infrastructure.

In the national capital, the courts started hearing cases through video-conferencing from March last year due to the pandemic. However, they are gradually inching back to normalcy with the Supreme Court commencing hybrid hearings since March 15 this year. Hybrid hearing is a combination of both virtual and physical hearing.

Last week, physical hearings were resumed in the Delhi High Court which had restricted its functioning to urgent matters only since March 16 last year. It later shifted to the virtual mode of proceedings from March 24.

Despite several challenges faced by the judiciary during the lockdown, courts dealt with several unprecedented issues having a far-reaching impact. 

The apex court took cognisance of many COVID-19 related issues, including migrant workers and providing treatment to patients infected with the virus as well as dignified handling of dead bodies in hospitals.

The top court also dealt with issues related to providing adequate PPE kits to doctors and health workers, loan moratorium, and also measures to reduce overcrowding in jails across the country amid the pandemic.

The Delhi High Court, however, recently issued a notification stating that hybrid and video-conferencing hearings would be allowed in cases where such requests are made by the parties or their advocates. The directive came in view of the resurgence in COVID-19 cases across the country. 

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also hailed the Supreme Court for conducting the highest number of hearings via video-conferencing from among the top courts of all the countries in the world during the pandemic.

On November 26 last year, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also complimented the judiciary for hearing over 49 lakh cases digitally during the challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic.

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The pandemic also witnessed courts including the apex court and the high court adopting the system of e-filing of cases to curb physical contact. Not only this, the courts also curtailed the summer vacations last year and continuing with the hearing of matters.

(With Agency inputs)

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