A Bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice B R Gavai said on Monday that continuance of courts virtually will be a problem. The Bench made the observation while refusing urgent hearing of a plea seeking a declaration that hearings in a virtual court is a fundamental right of litigants.

A Bench said that there are many problems in virtual hearings and that it will hear the matter only in December.

"Continuance of courts virtually would be a problem. We were doing 60-65 cases on a miscellaneous day earlier compared to 30-35 cases now despite the experience of over one year. There are many problems with virtual hearing.", the Bench observed.

"We had senior advocates appearing in person in the Jarnail Singh (reservation in promotion) case where the lawyers said it feels so good to come here and argue physically.We are also opening up now. Let us open fully and then we will hear," the Bench said.

Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra mentioned the matter and sought urgent hearing of the matter saying that access to justice was being hampered.

The Counsel argued that today the litigant sitting anywhere is able to see what is going on in the matter and how lawyers are performing.

The Bench replied that for 70 years there was access to justice without any complaint and now there is a problem with physical hearing.

It had earlier said that hybrid mode of hearing cases is not working and normalcy has to return and courts have to function physically as virtual hearing of cases can't become a norm.

"We have tried hybrid mode, but it's not working. People are not coming to the courts. Normalcy has to return and the courts have to function physically," Bench added.

The Senior Counsel was mentioning a matter filed by NGO National Federation of Societies for Fast Justice along with Julio Ribeiro and Shailesh R Gandhi, seeking a declaration that virtual court hearing is a fundamental right of the litigants. The Court had earlier issued notice in the matter.

With PTI inputs