SC bench irked over disruptions during online hearings due to use of mobile phones by lawyers
New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Monday expressed unhappiness over repeated disruptions during virtual hearings due to the use of mobile phones by several advocates, and said it may have to ban participation through mobiles.
A bench comprising the CJI and justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli was unhappy over the fact that it had to adjourn the hearings in as many as 10 cases listed on Monday due to disruptions in either audio or visual or both from advocates' end during the proceedings.
"Lawyers are appearing using their mobile phones and are not visible. We may have to ban this mobile business. Mr counsel, you are now practising in the Supreme Court and appear regularly. Can't you afford to have a desktop to argue,” the bench observed in one of the cases.
During the hearing of another case, the bench took note of poor internet connectivity at the lawyer's end and said, “We have no energy to hear cases like this. Please devise a system by which we can hear you. Ten matters are over like this and we are shouting." The top court has been hearing cases through video-conferencing since March 2020 due to the pandemic and has been relaxing or tightening the conditions from time to time keeping in mind the changing pandemic situation.
The apex court, on January 2, took note of a sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country and decided to hear all matters in virtual mode and from January 7, the benches are sitting at the residential offices of the judges.