From Monday The Supreme Court went into a virtual lockdown. Only one bench, headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, presided to carry out urgent court work so that there is less human interference.
The court also said the limitation period, within which appeals must be filed against lower court orders, will run indefinitely for filing appeals against high court and tribunal orders in the SC. Due to COVID-19 virus, the court took suo moto cognizes of the case which results in filling petition/application/suit/appeals all other proceedings.
To prevent difficulties for lawyers and to ensure that they are not present physically all the courts including Supreme Court ordered that a period of limitation of proceedings shall not stand extended till 15th March 2020 till further orders irrespective of general laws or special laws of limitations.
The apex court said that all the chambers of lawyers should be sealed by Tuesday evening. A two bench judge will be available for the urgent matters through video conference as the court ordered that there will be no in-person hearing. All the proximity cards (entry cards) of lawyers are cancelled until further orders. The lawyers can enter into the premises only with the permission of the Supreme Court Bar Association President.
The CJI, sat with justices L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant, in the first half of Monday and later presided in a special bench with Justice DY Chandrachud, the head of the e-committee of the court. These committees have successfully heard cases through video conferencing so to avoid human interaction. Only a handful of reporters are allowed in the court. Till 4th April all the judicial and administration work is suspended in Delhi High court.