Considering the increasing number of Coronavirus cases in India, a senior official at the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, stated that the top court has decided to further limit its functioning by restricting the number of courts to four.
The apex court had earlier decided to only hear urgent matters till March 31. The decision comes in line with the Apex Court's decision to introduce several precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The court had also allowed only selected lawyers, litigants, and journalists in the courtroom.
On Tuesday, Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde, along with three other judges visited the Supreme Court corridors and inspected the area to take stock of the situation inside the premise. Thermal-screening of the lawyers, litigants, and media persons is also being conducted since Monday.
The Supreme Court is planning to introduce court proceedings via video conferencing to avoid the 'people to people' contact amid the Corona pandemic. Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Sunday said that there cannot be a "complete shutdown" of courts due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The CJI held a meeting with four apex court judges, bar leaders of the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association and eminent doctors, including Randeep Guleria from the AIIMS, New Delhi, to discuss the situation and the steps that can be taken to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
As of date, the total number of positive cases in India has reached 152. Along with it, three deaths have been reported in Kalaburagi, West Delhi and Mumbai respectively. India has suspended all visas, barring for a few categories such as diplomatic and employment apart from keeping in abeyance the visa-free travel facility to OCI cardholders till April 15.
Moreover, the Centre has “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The central government as well as the state governments are also monitoring all suspected cases and have issued preventive advisories. Earlier on Saturday, the Central Government decided to treat the deadly virus as a "notified disaster". The State governments have also issued their advisories, ranging from work-from-home recommendations to closures of schools and colleges.
(With inputs from ANI)