sibal: Top advocates spar in SC over resumption of physical hearing | India News

sibal: Top advocates spar in SC over resumption of physical hearing | India News

NEW DELHI: Senior advocates sparred on Wednesday over the efficacy of the SC’s decision to resume full physical hearing two days a week with Kapil Sibal, supported by solicitor general Tushar Mehta, saying the court shouldn’t force advocates to appear physically, which was stoutly opposed by SC bar association president Vikas Singh.
Sibal told Chief Justice N V Ramana that resuming full physical hearing on Wednesdays and Thursdays would entail a lot of difficulty when the pandemic continues to claim lives and suggested that physical presence of advocates must be made optional. “Physical hearing would mean getting briefed in long matters by five to six advocates which could cause a lot of complications and difficulties,” Sibal said.
The CJI said the court was forced to resume physical hearing because of repeated requests from the SC bar association and other advocates’ bodies. “On Mondays and Fridays, the court would hear cases through video conferencing and on Tuesdays advocates can exercise the option of either physical or virtual hearing.”
Sibal said several HCs have opted for hybrid mode of hearing. The CJI said the decision to resume physical hearing was taken by a five-judge committee. Sibal asked to appear before the panel and explain difficulties. SCBA president Singh opposed Sibal and said “senior advocates can take a break for six months or one year, or till the pandemic ends. But, youngsters at the bar are suffering in the absence of physical hearing .” Mehta told Singh, “This isn’t an election speech.”

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