India's vicious second wave of the coronavirus has affected the Supreme Court massively with the court making a Covid test mandatory for everyone who enters its premises with symptoms of the deadly disease.
Supreme Court Judge DY Chandrachud tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. A staff member of the judge had been infected by the virus earlier. According to a report in Bar and Bench, the senior judge is recovering well.
Justice Chandrachud, who heads the Supreme Court E-committee, has been instrumental in ensuring that courts across the country function virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, he is heading the apex court Bench which is hearing suo motu case concerning the pandemic. He had last heard the case on Monday via video conference on Monday when it was deferred to Thursday due to technical glitches. The case will not be heard on Thursday now.
In April, four judges of the Supreme Court had tested positive for coronavirus with one of the judges being admitted to hospital for a few days.
The court, in a circular, said that people with fever, body ache or loss of smell should not come to court and isolate themselves. If found with any symptoms, the staff, as well as advocates, must undergo an RT-PCR test or a Rapid Antigen Test. The RT-PCR test is considered the gold standard in coronavirus testing.
The top court is now holding hearings via video conferencing from home. The entire premises, including the courtrooms, have been sanitized.
The court also said that there should be no loitering or crowding in its premises and elevators should be used only for going up. Only three people will be allowed at a time in an elevator.