New Delhi: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana Wednesday said that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is a silent killer, and he took an unusually long time to recover from the disease.
He made this remark after Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh requested the top court to begin full-fledged physical hearing. As the Chief Justice pointed out the increase in the number of Covid cases, Singh said the Omicron variant of coronavirus is much milder.
At this, the Chief Justice said: “It is a silent killer… I suffered in the first wave but recovered in 4 days, but now in this wave, it has been 25 days and I am still suffering.”
Singh said many people are recovering early from the disease. After a brief hearing, the top court said it will look into the matter.
In a letter earlier this month, the SCBA had requested the Chief Justice to resume physical hearings in the apex court, as the Covid-19 situation is in control and stressed that ‘open court hearing’ is both the “convention and constitutional requirement”.
“The government has decided to open schools and the top court to begin full-fledged physical hearing,” Singh told IANS, adding that the Omicron variant is much milder and the people are not suffering from long lasting illness.
On February 7, against the backdrop of declining Covid cases, the Supreme Court said it will resume limited physical hearing from February 14.
A circular issued by the Secretary General said: “In view of significant decline in the number of Covid-19 cases and positivity rate, and in the light of the various instructions issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, Government of NCT of Delhi vide Order dated February 4, 2022, the Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India, in consultation with the Committee of Hon’ble Judges, has been pleased to direct that the Modified Standard Operating Procedure notified on October 7, 2021 for hearing before the Hon’ble Court shall stand revived, and all hearings before the Hon’ble Court from February 14, 2022 shall be in accordance with the said Modified Standard Operating Procedure notified on October 7, 2021.”
According to the SOP issued in October last year, the virtual hearings were held only on miscellaneous days, Mondays and Fridays, while matters listed for hearing on Wednesdays and Thursdays required physical presence of the lawyers in the courtrooms. On Tuesday, the cases were heard in physical mode, however, on prior application by the advocate-on-record for the party, the appearance through video mode was facilitated.
After the increase in Covid cases in the beginning of January this year, the Supreme Court had suspended the October SOP.