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SC To Reopen Tomorrow In Virtual Mode; Will Pronounce Judgment In Lawyer's Plea Alleging 'Pick & Choose' Listing Of Cases By Registry

5 July 2020 1:17 PM GMT
SC To Reopen Tomorrow In Virtual Mode; Will Pronounce Judgment In Lawyer
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The Supreme Court will be reopening tomorrow after a brief summer recess, and will continue hearing cases through video conferencing. 

The Court was closed for Summer Vacation on June 22 only as it curtailed the summer vacation, and decided to have regular functioning till June 19.  As per calendar, the top court was set to go into summer recess from May 15 to July 6. Yesterday, the Court has released a notification highlighting the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for purposes of effectuating hearings through virtual courts w.e.f July 6.

Judgment In Lawyer's Plea Against Registry

Tomorrow Virtual Court No. 3 headed by Justice Arun Mishra will pronounce the judgment on a petition filed by a lawyer Reepak Kansal seeking directions of impartiality and equal treatment to Registry of the Top Court in matters of listing cases, without adopting a "pick and choose" policy. In his petition, he had alleged that the Section officers and/or Registry of Supreme Court routinely gives preferences to some law firms and influential advocates for reasons "best known to them".

The bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah had heard this petition on 19th June. It took serious objections to the allegations raised by Advocate Reepak Kansal, who complained that the SC Registry was showing discrimination and undue preferences in the matter of listing of all cases.

"How can you compare your Petition on One Nation One Ration Card to the plea of Arnab Goswami? What was the urgency? Why are you saying nonsensical things? All members of registry work day and night to make your life easier. You are demoralising them. How can you say such things?", the bench made these oral observations during the hearing. 


The Virtual Court headed by CJI SA Bobde will also pass orders in a suo motu writ petition regarding the issue of overcrowding in prisons in the wake of COVID pandemic. The Court on March 23 had directed all states and Union Territories to set up high level committees to determine class of prisoners who could be released on parole for four to six weeks.

The bench may also hear the SLPs filed by Principals Progressive Schools Association and St Jude's School, Dehradun against the Uttarakhand High Court order which restrained all private unaided schools in the state from demanding tution fee from parents of students who are unable to access online classes, in view of the lockdown situation. 

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