Contrary to a notice being circulated on social media, the Delhi High Court has clarified that as of now, there has been no decision on holding only virtual hearings on account of rising COVID-19 cases in the national capital.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Registrar General of the Delhi High Court Manoj Kumar Jain said,
“This notice (on exclusive virtual hearings) has not been issued by the Delhi High Court. We are monitoring the situation.”
The Notice in circulation was issued by the Patna High Court.
After nearly a year, the High Court had resumed complete physical functioning from March 15, making virtual hearings an exception and not the norm.
However, a week into the physical hearings, it once again permitted virtual hearings/hybrid hearings in cases before it.
The decision to permit virtual hearings came shortly after the Supreme Court said that it expected the High Court to show accommodation when a person requests for virtual hearing unless the same is sought to be used as an excuse to seek an adjournment.
While refusing to interfere with the High Court’s decision of mandatory physical hearings, the top court had made it clear that the manner of opening of courts or continuing with virtual courts was something that was to be handled at the administrative level of the Delhi High Court.
Even as COVID-19 cases once again soar in the national capital, the High Court is yet to take a call on whether to continue with the present system or go back to hearing cases only by virtual means.