Courts in India are reportedly switching to videoconferencing to hear cases amidst the coronavirus outbreak. According to a report from ANI, the Supreme Court today said that there will be no more in-person hearings till further orders in keeping with social distancing guidelines. The court will conduct videoconferencing to hear urgent matters, while all low-priority cases have been postponed indefinitely. It also closed down the lawyers chambers inside the court premises.
Supreme Court says lawyers chambers inside the Court premises to be closed down due to #COVID19. SC also says that there will be no more in-person hearings till further orders. The Court will conduct videoconferencing to hear urgent matters. pic.twitter.com/xHp2qvAxmS
— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2020
Some of the other courts that have also taken similar decisions include the Gujarat High Court which introduced e-Filing and video conferencing to avoid public gatherings within court premises, and the Karnataka High Court, which said it’ll use OTT apps like Skype to hear cases until further notice.
New Delhi, where the Supre Court is located, is currently under a lockdown until March 31st as part of a directive from the state government on Sunday evening. Schools, colleges, shopping malls, theaters, pubs and most other places of public gatherings across the city are closed, and even ride aggregators like Uber and Ola have suspended their services in the city until the end of the month.
Believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, the novel coronavirus has already killed more than 13,000 people globally and resulted in losses worth billions of dollars worldwide. Unfortunately, with no known cure and an effective vaccine only expected late next year at the earliest, most experts seem to be of the opinion that the carnage up until now is only the tip of the iceberg, and things will only get worse before they get any better.