The Advocates-on-Record Association of the Supreme Court on Sunday decided that they will not be appearing before the Court till April 4, 2020, in an effort to protect the members of the bar, office staff and the registry staff in the Supreme Court.
The decision was taken by the Association in view of the lockdown imposed in Delhi till March 31 and with a view to safeguard the top court of the country.
This decision comes in light of the Supreme Court decision of restricting its working to very limited cases to ensure that crowds do not gather inside the court premises and community transmission of the COVID-19 virus can be contained.
The Supreme Court also decided to hold hearings for urgent matters via video conferencing where the judges will be seated in the courtroom and the lawyers will make their submissions from another part of the court via video conferencing.
The SCAORA in its resolution says that the borders have been shut down and members commuting from Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and NOIDA will not be able to reach the Court. Further, the association says, that the metro services and other transport services have been shut down in the city, which though has been done in best interest of the citizens, can also cause a problem in daily commute of the lawyers.
The Association, in its resolution also made an appeal to the Chief Justice of India “to completely close down the premises of the Supreme Court in the best interests of the health of the Bar and the Bench.
The Supreme Court has, however, in previous occasions stated that a complete shutdown of the Court in a crisis situation like the current one, is not possible. Restrictive functioning, however, needs to be adopted.