Amid rise in Omicron cases, SC to switch to virtual mode

With Omicron cases on the rise, the Supreme Court on Sunday decided to suspend all physical hearings and revert to virtual hearings for the next two weeks.

On October 7 last year, the apex court, which had been hearing cases virtually since the Covid-induced lockdown in March 2020, had announced resumption of physical hearings two days a week along with hybrid hearings.

As per the modified Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), all matters listed on Wednesdays and Thursdays were to be heard physically and, on Tuesday, parties could request virtual hearing (hybrid hearing) from the court.

But now, the modified SOP will remain suspended.

“It is hereby notified for the information of the members of the Bar, party-in-person and all concerned that, keeping in view the rising number of cases, the competent authority has been pleased to direct that modified SOP notified on October 7 for physical hearing (with hybrid option) before courts will remain suspended for the present, and all hearings before the courts for a period of two weeks from and with effect from 03-01-2022 shall be through virtual mode only”, a circular by the SC registry said.

The development comes as the court is set to reopen on Monday after the Christmas holidays.

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