Open up the gates, Mi Lords!

Sudeep Mahajan Advocate
Formerly Additional Advocate General, Haryana
Email Id :

Date : 06/06/2020 Location : H.N. 1546, Sector 36D, Chandigarh, Phone No. 9814025102

Open up the gates, Mi Lords!

During the recent long drawn out lock down, there were two visuals that I missed the most; one seeing Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma, donning India colours, hold a bat and smack the ball from the rival team's bowler, to boundary with the crowds erupting into rhapsodies and the second; of us lawyers appearing in our sable uniforms in courts, with judges presiding over from their high daises. As of now we do not even know when will we see such scenes live again. There were other simple pleasures of life, which too we were eagerly awaiting to resume, such as morning walks and going to markets etc, most of which have been resumed but alas! not the physical appearances in designated court rooms. It however, is time, we emulated some of the COVID-19 warrior such as doctors, paramedic staff, the police and other paramilitary forces, Army and now even the entire Govt officialdom. Some of these, particularly the doctors and the police, not only never rolled back their duties but had also been performing duties since March 2020 in much more challenging and perilous conditions, yet we have not seen any report from any quarters, whereby any of them may have refused to perform duties.

Of course, the physical working of courts entail its own peculiar risks but we can now seek a lot of encouragement from the data that has emerged in the meanwhile. It shows that the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) in India stood at 2.8%, which is amongst the lowest in the world compared to global fatality rate of 6.13%, as per the information released by GoI. The recovery rate also stands at health 48.4 %, which too is amongst the finest in the world. The low CFR and the high recovery rate, it is said, shows that," India may not be witnessing an impact as severe as in some other countries..". Likewise, the number of people who have required ventilator support, in our country, is also less than 2%. The said data thus makes out a strong case for resuming normal functioning of all courts at least in this part of the country. Conversely if we continue to shut the court rooms for a long period of time and continue with video conferencing method for `extremely urgent' cases only, the arrears of pending cases, already a mountain, will climb to unmanageable proportions. Moreover, whenever we open the courts, let's say after one year from now, even then the probability of catching the virus by some of us, will not be zero, it will never be. The judicial process, however, must march on, resolutely for there are thousands patiently waiting for years together, to find justice at last.

The courts are called "Temple of Justice", to my mind it is that temple which even an atheist is happy to visit, therefore your Lordships please! Open up the gates and let us once again see this temple of justice function in its full glory.

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