At least four judges of the Supreme Court have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said today. More than 150 staff members are also either positive or under quarantine.
The positivity rate in the court stands at 12.5 per cent as out of a total workforce of 32 judges, including the Chief Justice of India, four are infected.
Two of the judges had tested positive on Thursday.
According to Supreme Court sources, a judge who had fever had attended a farewell party of Justice R Subhash Reddy on Tuesday. His Covid result came positive after that.
On Thursday, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and four other senior judges held a meeting on the ongoing pandemic situation. "Unfortunately, again the problem has started and we are also conscious of this.... It seems, we may not be able to hear cases through physical mode for the next four to six weeks," the CJI had said.
The Supreme Court then switched to virtual hearings for two weeks as India witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases, believed to be driven by the Omicron variant. According to a circular issued by the administration, with effect from January 7, the benches have been asked to sit at the residential offices.
Only extremely urgent 'mentioned' matters, fresh matters, bail matters, matters involving stay, detention matters and fixed date matters will be listed before the courts from January 10 till further orders, the circular said.
The top court has been hearing cases through video-conferencing since March 2020 due to the pandemic. It had earlier switched to physical hearings after more than a year in October as India saw a drop in Covid cases.
India recorded a single-day rise of 1,59,632 new coronavirus cases today and 327 deaths in the last 24 hours. The active cases in the country stand at 5,90,611 while the positivity rate is 10.21 per cent.