Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar has written to the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court urging him to reconsider the resumption of physical hearings in the High Court which are scheduled to commence on January 18.
In his letter, Nayar has expressed deep “pain” at how the regular practicing advocates will have no say and they will be forced to appear physically despite the threat of the virus. The new roaster which mandates a total of 11 benches would sit daily to take up matters physically. The roaster notes that no request for a virtual hearing will be taken up for matters listed for physical hearing.
He has also stated that the decision to increase the number of benches appears to be taken in haste, without proper consultation with the concerned stakeholders and medical experts.
“There is no room for laxity at present.” – the Senior advocate stated while mentioning the current state of the pandemic in the country and the state of Delhi. It was stated that there are a significant amount of fresh infections reported daily in Delhi and the courts should not have such a work environment when the vaccines are around the corner.
Nayar questioned as to why the physical hearings are ordered when the present virtual hearing is working so well. The present system of the Delhi High Court has been hailed by the Supreme court and had urged the Supreme court registry to adopt the same system.
Nayar also highlighted that resumption of physical hearings would result in an inconsistent situation where the advocate might be compelled to appear in physical hearing and virtual hearing on the same day.
Nayar has also urged to kindly reconsider the proposal for physical hearing in the light of the alternate system working so well. He also stated that 95% of lawyers opted for virtual hearing over physical hearing sharing the same sentiment reflected in the statistics.