The Supreme Court started hearing cases through video conference on March 23, a day before Prime Minister announced the Complete Lockdown in the view of COVID-19 pandemic, the court also issued a notice on August 23 suspending entry of lawyers and litigants in the court and only the urgent and the important cases will be heard through video conference during the lockdown.
The hearings of the top court are conducting through the Vodyo app, a video conferencing app, which can be downloaded on phone and desktops and is hosted on the server of the National Data Centre of National Informatics Centre.
While the judges on the bench join the video conference through on the residences of the judges and the lawyers join the video conference through their respective houses or chambers.
The no. Of benches hearing case has increased through time and due to that no of haring per day also increases. Initially no. Of benches were 2 or 3 and the no. Of hearings were 15 to 20 but now the no. Of benches are 5-6 so the hearings have increased to almost 200 per day. But the number is still less in comparison to all days when the no. Of hearings were 500-700 per day.
On August 20, the court has completed its 100th working day through video conferencing. It has almost heard more than 15,500 cases through video conferencing from March 23 till date.
The court has disposed about 4,300 cases during this period and nearly, 3,419 are connected cases, that is a case involving the same which are heard along with the main case.
The summer vacations were also reduced from 7 weeks to 2 weeks this year to make up for the reduced cases which are being heard through video conferencing.
The Apex Court is expecting to resume the physical hearings of the cases in the coming days with proper precautions and safety measures.
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National Data Centre of National Informatic Centre-
National Data Centre of National Informatic Centre is an attached office under the ministry of electronics and information technology in the Indian Government. It provides infrastructure to help support the delivery of government IT services and the delivery of some of the initiatives of Digital India.