Recently it has been reported that three (3) Judges of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). In the due course, the Delhi High Court Bar Association in light of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the national capital has decided to close its office at the Hon’ble court premises.
Needful to mention that the Hon’ble judges have isolated themselves at their residences, according to sources at the court. Besides this the Hon’ble 3 judges, who are suffering from mild symptoms, received their covid-19 test reports yesterday therefore, they will not be adjudicating any matter till further notice.
At the outset the Hon’ble Delhi High Court from March 15th, 2021 had resumed full-edged physical hearing, amid demands by members of the Delhi High Court Bar Association and others citing various issues with the hybrid model of hearing. In the subsequent matter, many junior advocates at the Bar had been affected due to the non-functioning of courts physically.
In the instant case after considering the arguments on the issue at hand, the Hon’ble Court while passing the order dated 9th March 2021 held that virtual mode of hearing will be available only in exceptional cases, and not as a general rule. Additionally, the Hon’ble Court had also ordered that physical non-availability in Delhi NCR would not be permitted to be an exceptional circumstance, unless the Hon’ble judge was satisfied, or else a request to be decided on a case to case basis.
Moving ahead in the instant case, the order so passed by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court was later reversed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court which held that requests for hybrid hearings were to be decided more sympathetically.
Furthermore, in view of increasing the number of Covid-19 cases in the national capital region, the Hon’ble High Court recently reverted to the virtual model of proceedings, with the consent of Full Bench. The Hon’ble court also stated that the virtual hearing will be operational from 9th April 2021 to 23rd April.
The Hon’ble Court also highlighted that the National Capital Region has recorded 10,774 fresh Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the highest single-day spike so far, and 48 deaths.
Lastly, the Hon’ble judge of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court during a hearing had stated that he would not be able to hear the matter at length on this day as he had taken his Covid-19 injection a day before and was advised by the medical practitioner to take rest.