New Delhi, May 27: The Bar Council of India (BCI) has written to the Chief Justice of India Justice SA Bobde, urging him to issue directions to all courts in the country to re-start open court hearings from June 1.

In the letter, BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra has asserted that only 10 per cent of the cases are being heard these days despite the fact that there was an 80 per cent pendency of cases in trial courts, The Indian Express reported.

Arguing that virtual courts cannot displace and replace the traditional court system, Misra requested the Chief Justice to re-start the system of physical hearings.

“My Lord! It’s now a hard reality that Covid-19 is not going to go soon. We will have to learn to live with coronavirus and adopt all necessary measures to keep the virus at bay. National Lockdown of over 60 days has taught us much about the precautions to be taken and that’s why many government and private sector offices and establishment have started functioning, though with restricted presence.”

BCI also stated that even this system of listing urgent matters on mentioning by an advocate was partial towards a “handful of the privileged class of lawyers.

The Bar Council also brought to the CJI’s attention the condition of “95 per cent of advocates (who) are without any court work and court appearances” and thus, have no means to make both ends meet.

“The Bar Councils, with their limited resources, have responded and done their bit to help such advocates, most of whom are young and/or needy advocates, but this system can’t go on for long as Bar Councils don’t get any State grant,” it stated.

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