New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) In the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has urged Chief Justice S.A. Bobde to consider declaring a four-week vacation in the top court beginning March 23.
In a statement, SCBA Secretary Ashok Arora said the lawyers’ body has requested the Chief Justice to adjust the lost days in the upcoming summer vacation.
“The Executive Committee (EC) of the SCBA is elected to look after the welfare and well-being of the members of the SCBA and must take decisions accordingly, irrespective of the reservations that some members may have,” said the statement.
“The EC resolves to inform the court of its readiness to help the institution at any point of time,” Arora said.
Similarly, to curtail the spread of coronavirus, the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA) has urged the Chief Justice to close the top court for a period of at least two weeks beginning March 23.
However, if this request is not accepted, the SCAORA has proposed various measures to prevent overcrowding in the court complex. “Filing of matters must be completely stopped except urgent cases pertaining to death warrants, bail/custody and habeas corpus petitions. In lieu of the loss of court hours, summer vacation may be curtailed in the month of May and if necessary the court may function on Saturdays,” said SCAORA Secretary Joseph Aristotle.
On March 13, the Supreme Court in a notification said that it will have limited functioning restricted to urgent matters. “the competent authority has been pleased to direct that the functioning of the courts shall be restricted to urgent matters with such number of benches as may be found appropriate,” said the notification issued by apex court Secretary General Sanjeev S. Kalgaonkar.
The apex court authorities took into account the office memorandum issued on March 5 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It also took cognizance of the World Health Organization (WHO), which declared novel coronavirus as a global pandemic and advised against mass congregation.