After at least 44 members of the Supreme Court (SC) staff tested positive for COVID-19, the court premises are being sanitised. All the courtrooms are being disinfected, which will cause a slight delay in the proceedings.
Post the outbreak last year, hearings were taking place virtually till March 15, when hybrid hearings began. This was allowed when the positivity rate of the virus had come down to 0.3 per cent and the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had pointed out that lawyers were daily wage earners who should not be forced into starvation.
However, now, keeping in mind the alarming rise in number of infections across the country, henceforth, all physical hearings have been suspended and judges will be conducting proceedings from their homes, an hour later than the scheduled time.
In India, cases have been on the rise, with active cases touching 92,922. The total number of cases is presently 1,201,009. The death toll in Delhi alone has gone up to more than 11,200, while more than six lakh patients have been nursed back to health. In Delhi alone, the number of active cases has spiked to 34,341 from 28,773 within a day.
Meanwhile, a petition has been filed in the SC seek the Centre’s intervention to set up vaccination centres for all including citizens under the age of 45 amidst the rising number of COVID cases. The PIL has been filed by Tehseen Poonawalla who has urged the SC to order the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, to bring about changes in its policy to ensure that even those under the age of 45, who are required to travel to their offices or work in the field, are vaccinated on priority.