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[Virtual Hearings] Gone are the days of muting lawyers; Judges now huddle into breakout sessions

The Supreme Court judges have started using break out rooms this year when the top court switched to complete virtual hearing after the third wave of COVID-19 hit.

It came as a surprise to lawyers, litigants and journalists when the judges excused themselves and logged into a breakout session.

For instance, if it was any other physical hearing day, a child custody battle would have usually ended up with the child and the parents walking up to the chambers of the judge concerned for an in chamber discussion after proceedings wrapped up.

But times have changed. On January 27, when a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana was hearing such a case, the three judges on the Bench, the CJI and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli entered a breakout room with the child over Cisco WebEx platform. Soon thereafter, the judges rejoined the virtual proceedings and passed an order.

Source: Barandbench

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