Lawyers, 452 in total and Bombay Bar Association wrote to the Bombay High Court, separately seeking its permission to allow them to choose from either virtual hearings or physical hearings. The request was made to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Dipankar Dutta.
On Friday, an office order was passed by the Hon’ble Court declaring that the physical hearings will be conducted on an experimental basis at most benches of the High Court from December 1st 2020 to January 10th 2021, next year.
Separately, several lawyers practising in and across Mumbai wrote to the Chief Justice requesting them to choose between virtual and physical hearings.
The Bombay Bar Association in its letter submitted:
“The commencement of physical hearing and the mandatory requirement of physical appearances in such a large number of Courts without an option for appearance in the virtual platform is likely to pose a serious threat to the lives and health of lawyers, their staff, the clients and consequently their families”.
On the other hand, in their letter to the Chief Justice, the lawyers submitted:
“Even younger lawyers and court staff who may not be at risk themselves, but live with elderly parents and relatives are at risk of transmitting the disease to someone who could be fatally affected. As you know, in Mumbai, the extreme lack of space leaves no possibility of maintaining social distancing at home and offices”.
Major request of both; included of permission to choose between video conferencing and physical hearings citing various reasons.