The Supreme Court on Monday ordered to seal all lawyers’ chambers in and around the court’s premises by Tuesday evening to check the spread of coronavirus. The top court also said there will be no gathering of lawyers in court premises till further orders.
The Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said he will take a call by Monday itself on a possible shutdown or preponing the summer vacation. The lawyer bodies had urged the CJI to shut down the court in the backdrop of rising Covid-19 cases.
The court further ruled that hearing in urgent matters will be carried out only through virtual means. Besides, it has decided to cancel all proximity cards to dissuade lawyers from coming to the court.
To ensure social distancing, the court said only the Supreme Court Bar Association president can authorise lawyers to enter court premises for urgent reasons.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Advocates On-Record Association has already declared that lawyers and advocates working in the top court will not be working till April 4 following an announcement by the Delhi government to lockdown the national capital till March 31.
Earlier in the morning, the Centre asked state governments to strictly enforce the lockdown and take legal action against violators. The Centre and state governments on Sunday decided to completely lock down till March 31 the 80 districts across the country where coronavirus cases have been reported.
According to the Health Ministry, the total number of COVID-19 cases surged to 415 on Monday morning, a spike from the 360 figure the night before. The figure includes 41 foreign nationals and seven deaths.
Bodies of 17 cops found in Bastar
Bodies of 17 security personnel, who were missing after an encounter with Naxals in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, were found on Sunday, police said.
'Bodies of 17 security personnel were recovered by a search team and were being evacuated from forests,' the Inspector General of Police (Bastar range), Mr. SundarrajP, said.
Earlier, in a major joint offensive, separate teams of nearly 600 personnel belonging to the District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force (STF) and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA)- an elite unit of CRPF, launched an anti-Naxal operation from three sides towards Elmagunda after getting inputs about a huge gathering of ultras there on Saturday.
When the patrolling teams were near Minpa village forests, a group of around 250 heavily armed ultras ambushed them, leaving 15 personnel injured, he said.
The gun battle lasted for about two-and-half hours.
The injured personnel were airlifted to Raipur and admitted to a private hospital where the condition of two of them is stated to be critical, he said.