44 SC staffers test COVID-19 positive; judges work from home

All Benches assembled late by an hour on Monday

44 SC staffers test COVID-19 positive; judges work from home

Photo for representation only

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 12 

With 44 staffers testing COVID-19 positive in the last one week, the functioning of the Supreme Court has been adversely affected by the pandemic.

All Benches assembled late by an hour on Monday and judges held courts from their respective home via video conferencing, sources said.

A Supreme Court spokesperson refuted reports in a section of the media that around 50 per cent of the court’s staffers had tested positive for COVID-19.

“There are more than 3,200 staffers working in the Supreme Court and 44 of them tested COVID-19 positive in the last week,” he said, adding, “The entire court premises is sanitised to check the spread of the virus.”

Delhi recorded 10,774 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the highest single-day spike so far, and 48 deaths, NCT government’s Health Department said.

While some judges had been coming to the Supreme Court premises to hold court, a few others had been presiding over proceedings from their respective residence.

Following the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, the top court came out with two separate notifications. One of them said the Benches, which used to assemble at 10.30 am and 11 am, would assemble an hour late from their scheduled time on Monday. The other notification suspended physical mentioning of cases for urgent hearing by advocates from Monday till further orders.

Three judges of the Delhi High Court have tested COVID-19 positive and they have self-isolated themselves at their residences, sources said, adding, they had mild symptoms.

They received their test reports on Sunday and did not hold court on Monday. Another judge is also suffering from fever and his test report was awaited.

The Delhi High Court had resumed full-fledged physical hearing from March 15. But now it decided to go back to virtual mode of proceedings from April 9 to April 23 in view of an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in the national capital.

The Delhi High Court Bar Association too has decided to close its office at the high court premises in view of rising COVID-19 cases.

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