After an experimental run of 14 days, the Delhi High Court has decided to continue the graded physical hearing in its premises. The number of Benches that would sit for physical hearings have, however, been reduced in view of the rising COVID-19 cases.
As per the roster effective from September 15th to October 8th, 2020, three Benches would conduct court proceedings through physical mode. Benches would continue to sit on a rotation basis.
Despite the adverse circumstances, which included several staff testing positive for COVID-19, the Full Court resolved to continue with the physical hearing albeit with a suitable number of Benches.
The decision to not discontinue physical hearing was taken in a Full Court meeting of the High Court. Further, on the designated mentioning link/e-filing module of the High Court, around 94% of the Advocates indicated their preferred mode of hearing as ‘virtual’ mode.
Nonetheless, the criminal jurisdiction of the High Court witnessed a considerable number of physical appearances.
The Principal District & Sessions Judges have also been asked to review the requirement of the number of physical courts in their respective Districts and to send a report for consideration by the Committee constituted for Preparation of Graded Action Plan.