Amid rising Covid cases, CJI Chandrachud permits work from home for advocates

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NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud on Wednesday said lawyers are free to appear virtually in court in the wake of the rising number of Covid cases.

The CJI said newspaper reports show that Covid cases are on the rise and, if a lawyer wants to appear virtually before the court, they can and the hybrid mode is also on. “We saw newspaper reports on rising Covid cases. Lawyers can use hybrid mode. If you choose to appear online, we will hear you”, the CJI said.

The Supreme Court had reverted to the physical hearing mode of adjudication of cases from April 4, 2022, after taking into account the low infection rate and the number of Covid cases in Delhi and across the country.

The apex court has been successfully experimenting with the hybrid method — a combination of physical and virtual — of hearing for quite some time. The Supreme Court has also started live-streaming the Constitution bench proceedings through the Supreme Court app and YouTube even after the resumption of physical hearings.

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud (Photo/ANI)

India on Wednesday recorded 4,435 fresh Covid cases, with the active caseload at 23,091. Covid cases in India have seen an upward trend in the past few days with the daily fresh infections ranging between 2,994 on April 1 to 3,824 on April 2 and 3,641 on April 3 before dropping marginally to 3038 on Tuesday. With 2,069 recoveries in the last 24 hours, total recoveries have increased to 4,41,77,204 on Tuesday. The overall recovery rate was pegged at 98.76 per cent.

The daily and weekly positivity rates were at 1.84 per cent and 2.49 per cent, respectively on Tuesday, while the total number of vaccine doses administered over the last 24 hours was pegged at 1,894. Of the 92.20 crore total tests conducted so far, 1,64,740 tests were done on Tuesday. Under the Nationwide Vaccination Drive, India has so far administered 220.65 crore vaccine doses (95.20 crore second doses and 22.86 crore precautionary doses), of which 9,497 doses were administered on Tuesday.

Taking note of rising Covid cases in India, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday said the Omicron sub-variant, which is circulating in the country currently, has not led to an increase in hospitalisation and there was no need to worry. However, the minister said that there was a need to remain vigilant and take necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, the national capital reported 521 new Covid cases with a positivity rate of 15.64 per cent, according to a daily bulletin issued by the state Health department “As many as 521 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Delhi in the last 24 hrs. The national capital currently has 1,710 active cases of Covid-19”, an official said.

A total of 4,08,00,239 Covid tests have been conducted so far, stated the bulletin on Tuesday. It stated further that a total of 216 Covid patients recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 19,83,318. On April 2, Delhi reported 429 new Covid cases and one death in a span of 24 hours. (ANI)

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