Not even my family could attend swearing-in ceremony: CJI on Covid crisis

15-08-2022 Mon 16:04 IST | IANS | National
Not even my family could attend swearing-in ceremony: CJI on Covid crisis

New Delhi, Aug 15:  Recalling the Covid crisis when he took oath, Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana on Monday said lawyers, judges, officers of the registry were scared to touch the documents, and not even his family members could attend the swearing-in ceremony. The Chief Justice pointed out that in the last 16 months, the top court could physically assemble for only 55 days.

The Chief Justice was speaking at the 76th anniversary of India's Independence organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). The event was also attended by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, SCBA president Vikas Singh, Supreme Court judges and the members of the Bar. Justice Ramana said: "I remember the time when I took over as the Chief Justice, the once in a century pandemic nearly destroyed us. Not even my family members could attend the swearing in ceremony, there was fear everywhere. Many near and dear ones of all of us lost our lives."

Chief Justice Ramana will demit office on August 26, post which Justice U.U. Lalit will take over. On August 10, Justice Lalit was appointed as the 49th Chief Justice of India with President Droupadi Murmu signing his warrant of appointment. Justice Ramana took over as the CJI on April 24 after the retirement of CJI S.A. Bobde on April 23.

Justice Ramana added that lawyers, judges, officers of the registry were scared to touch the documents, and the court had inherited the backlog of nearly a year on the account of Covid and there were lockdowns. "In the last 16 months, we could physically assemble for only 55 days. I wish the situation was different and we could be more productive. It is just and natural for people to have high expectations, but regrettably, the forces of nature were against us. I hope in the near future, the situation will become normal and courts will function to the full potential", he said.

The Chief Justice added that when Covid was taking away our near and dear ones, our entire system worked fearlessly to deliver justice and both lawyers and judges have worked without any break, both online and offline.

"Under the guidance of the computer committee, our video conference system continued to evolve. Brothers Justice Chandrachud and Justice Khanwilkar gave necessary guidance to the teama...Under the able leadership of President and office-bearers, the SCBA has been able to resolve several long standing issues. Even in the most trying times, the SCBA has extended its services to the most needy. The SCBA stands out as one of the most dynamic associations in the country", he said.


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