Pinnacle Court said that they are shouting while disruptions occurrence in virtual hearings

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Apex Court today delivered problems over repeated disruptions during virtual hearings due to the use of mobile phones by several advocates and said it may have to ban participation through mobiles.

A bench comprising the CJI and justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli was unhappy over the fact that it had to adjourn the hearings in as many as 10 cases listed on Monday due to disruptions in either audio or visual or both from advocates' end during the proceedings.

“Lawyers are appearing using their mobile phones and are not visible. We may have to ban this mobile business. Mr counsel, you are now practising in the Supreme Court and appear regularly. Can’t you afford to have a desktop to argue,” the bench observed in one of the cases.

Addressing the Counsel appearing in the matter, Justice Hima Kohli said, "You should have a device, don't you have any device? Some IPad, desktop or laptop?"

When the problem persisted in yet another matter, CJI Ramana remarked, "This has been happening since morning itself, we are exhausted in 10 cases. Please understand, lawyers practicing in Supreme Court, High Court, what's the problem? Why can't you use an IPad, laptop, desktop, or something? I can understand lower courts lawyers using this mobile phone".

During the hearing of another case, the bench took note of poor internet connectivity at the lawyer’s end and said, “We have no energy to hear cases like this. Please devise a system by which we can hear you. Ten matters are over like this and we are shouting.” The top court has been hearing cases through video-conferencing since March 2020 due to the pandemic and has been relaxing or tightening the conditions from time to time keeping in mind the changing pandemic situation.

Before rising from the bench, CJI told the Court Staff, "You please ask counsel to use desktops or laptops, and not mobile phones. We are facing a lot of problems. Don't disconnect but tell them there's a problem in hearing through mobile phones".

The Supreme Court reverted to a complete virtual mode of hearing owing to the “sudden upsurge of COVID cases”.