A letter from a young girl to Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana has prompted the Supreme Court to register a public interest litigation (PIL) petition on courts resuming in-person hearings completely.
Supreme Court judge Justice Vineet Saran today referred to a letter that a young girl has written to Chief Justice Ramana, on courts beginning in-person hearings which were stalled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at an event organised by the Bar Council of India to felicitate Chief Justice Ramana, Justice Saran said, "Yesterday someone told me that a young girl has written to the CJI that if all other things are opening up and even schools are reopening, then why not courts. I have been told that the CJI has decided to treat it as a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) and will hear the matter."
In a similar incident earlier this year, a Class 5 Kerala student's letter to Chief Justice Ramana evoked a heart-warming response from him. The little girl had thanked him for the court's orders passed in connection with oxygen supply amid the second wave of the pandemic. As a token of his appreciation, he has also sent the girl, Lidwina Joseph, a signed copy of the Constitution of India.
The Supreme Court resumed in-person hearings on September 1 amid a dip in the COVID-19 cases in the country. The court now holds a hybrid model for hearings, with both physical and virtual hearings.
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) wrote to the Chief Justice, objecting to several conditions of the SOPs issued by the court for resumption of physical hearings. The Bar body objected to many conditions, including the one which prohibits the entry of lawyers to the high security area of the Supreme Court without special passes.
Delhi High Court and district courts in the capital, meanwhile, started physical hearings in a restricted manner from August 31 and 24 respectively.