HYDERABAD: The decision of the Telangana High Court to resume physical hearings from Monday evoked a mixed response among advocates. They opined that the decision would have an adverse impact on the advocates fraternity as the Covid-19 pandemic had not subsided fully yet.
Not only senior counsels, some middle-aged and even young advocates also had the same opinion. They informed that five of the practising advocates were suffering from Covid-19 and their juniors were attending before the benches. The advocates, who did not want to mention their names, said these were only a few cases we came to know, but there might be a higher number of unknown cases.
They also said they were bothered about the influx of advocates and clients into the court premises and court halls. Even the counsels, who did not have cases moving in and around the court halls, were not restricted from moving carelessly.
However, Telangana High Court Bar Association president Ashok Goud and other advocates defended the resumption of physical hearings.
The pandemic had brought down the incomes of most of the lawyers, he said, adding that some lawyers, however, were habituated to virtual hearings, which allowed them to attend multiple proceedings at Telangana High Court, Andhra Pradesh High Court and NCLT on a single day from one location. Now the decision was making them uncomfortable, said the advocates who defend the physical hearings.
Even in district courts, some counsels do not prefer the physical mode fully as there are no restrictions on entering the court premises. The advocates, who do not have cases, come to courts and spend time at the Bar Association Hall by playing games or chatting.
“Unnecessary crowding in court halls is leading to panic among some as they fear that pandemic may spread,” Madan Reddy, a practising advocate at the Ranga Reddy district court said.
However, most of the courts have been functioning in physical mode for the last two weeks by following SOPs. Advocates were given the option in some courts to go for online hearings, especially on Friday or any other specific day.
In the High Court, parking of vehicles has become a challenging task for the last two weeks when most of the courts resumed physical hearings. Advocates, clients and employees coming in four-wheelers and personal vehicles are causing parking issues....