India's spiraling Covid-19 crisis has hit the Supreme Court in a big way with several of its staff testing positive for the disease. The court's functioning, however, won't be affected in any way. The hearings will now be held via video conferencing from home, sources have informed NDTV. The entire court premise, including courtrooms, is now being sanitised, they said. The various benches will today sit an hour later than their scheduled time.
Officials have, meanwhile, assured there was nothing to be alarmed about. Just on Saturday, 44 of 90 court employees tested for Covid-19 turned out positive, sparking panic among some judges.
"Judicial work will not be affected by the pandemic," Justice DY Chandrachud told NDTV. "The Supreme Court has adequate infrastructure for for judicial work," he said, referring to the 1,600 video-conferencing links available with it.
"Sixteen benches are functioning. Earlier, huge volumes of files used to be shifted physically, but now, everything is available electronically," said the judge who is also Chairman of the Supreme Court's e-Committee.
Some Supreme Court judges had contracted Covid earlier but recovered subsequently.
India is experiencing a ferocious new wave of the pandemic with around 10 lakh new cases being reported over the past week. Today was the sixth consecutive day it reported over a lakh daily cases with 1,68,912 new infections -- the highest ever daily surge till now. Up to to 904 people died of Covid-related issues in the past 24 hours, according to the latest Health Ministry data published this morning.
The country currently leads the world in the daily average number of new infections reported in more than two weeks, accounting for one in every six infections reported globally each day.