Press Trust of india

SC to list cases related to death penalty, family laws for hearing through video-conferencing

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New Delhi:  Death penalty cases and those related to family laws may be listed for hearing through video-conferencing mode, the Supreme Court said on Saturday.

In a notice issued on its website, the apex court said this, however, would be subject to availability of the bench concerned and prior approval of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde.

“Take notice that, short category matters, death penalty matters and matters  related to family law, which are ready, may be listed for hearing through video-conferencing mode subject to availability of the concerned bench and prior approval of the Chief Justice of India.

“The parties desirous of taking up such matters for hearing through video conferencing, may furnish their joint consent along with particulars of the matter(s) at the earliest, latest by April 24 2020, on the email address: [email protected],” the notice said.

In the wake of the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown being extended, the Supreme Court had earlier issued fresh guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) to be adopted by advocates and litigants during hearing of matters of “extreme urgency”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of the three-week nationwide lockdown for another 19 days till May 3 to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the top court, since March 23, has restricted its functioning and only matters considered to be extremely urgent are being taken up by different benches through video-conferencing.

The circular had said Chief Justice of India S A Bobde would be constituting the benches during the period of the lockdown for hearing of matters considered extremely urgent in nature.

Besides highlighting the several modalities to be adopted by lawyers and litigants during hearings, the Supreme Court had also issued instructions for joining the hearings through its web-based video-conferencing system ‘VIDYO’.

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