The lockdowns due to the fast-spreading coronavirus have affected the functioning of the courts worldwide. Still, the Indian Supreme Court proves itself better than any other top courts of the countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, et cetera.
The apex court, according to recent data, took about 538 cases in the lockdown period beginning from March 22 till May 1. Other than these 538 cases, the court took another bunch of 297 connected cases, 49 Special Leave Petitions, 92 Writ Petitions, 138 Review Petitions, along with 58 interim relief pleas.
How other countries’ judicial systems are handling the pandemic?
China took no cases, and the Supreme People’s Court ordered to guide the litigants on how to file cases and other dispute matters online. In the United Kingdom, the Supreme Court building remains shut. However, the cases are being carried over video links. UK and Australia have been able to take only 18 cases between February 5 and April 29, February 2, and April 24, respectively.
The courts of Canada are offering very little or reduced service. They are dealing with matters that are essential and urgent. Canada has taken 8 cases in 2 months starting from February 2nd. The courts in South Africa are open and have taken 47 cases from February 2 to April 30. It hears only the urgent matters with a restriction over physical presence in the court.
The United States of America has taken 28 cases from February 24 to April 27. The court postponed few cases and announced that the arguments would take place orally in May. Meanwhile, Europe also took over 28 cases from February 2 to April 2. The Union Court of Justice in Europe decided to implement the remote working system.
Ireland has taken a step where the plaintiff has to cite the reason for the urgency of any case to the court registrar via an e-mail. Ireland has taken up 256 cases beginning from February 1 to April 30.
How is India able to continue providing justice in such times?
After ordering to decriminalize Indian politics, the Covid-19 came as a shock and disrupted all the operations of the judicial system in India, just like any other country now. However, India was able to manage so many cases via the technology of video conferencing. In the beginning, it was a bit difficult to manage as lawyers’ complained of glitches of appearing via video conferencing. Still, the court was still able to manage so many cases and their disposal.
According to the above information, many countries are using the virtual system to take off and dispose of the case. Still, they have lagged behind in doing so. It has become challenging for the countries to carry out their judicial duty because of the virus. Still, they are all presenting the courts virtually, and the cases are managed online.
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