No mask, no case hearing: Bombay HC to counsel | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: The Bombay HC removed a matter from board after seeing that a counsel for the appellant had taken off his mask.
Justice Prithviraj Chavan was on February 22 hearing a first appeal with a civil application pending since 2018 when he observed, “Counsel for the appellant has removed the mask despite guidelines.’’ He then passed an order for removal, pointing out that SOP for resumption of physical hearing contemplates “wearing of mask at all times, even during arguments’’ as mandatory.
Entry for one advocate per party: SOP
The SOP also requires strict compliance of social distancing and says entry to court rooms for physical hearing stands restricted to: “one advocate per party whose vakalatnama is on record or who has been duly authorised and whose case is listed for hearing on board of concerned court.’’ It also makes entry into court rooms permissible to advocates and party-in-person whose matter is called for hearing.
The rest of the advocates may wait outside the courtroom or in the Bar Room, while maintaining social distancing norms, the SOP stipulates. Observing the lawyer mask-less, Justice Chavan said, “the matter be removed from the board.’’

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