6 SC Judges Down With Swine Flu, Hearings Affected In Sabarimala, Other Cases

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had held a meeting in this regard to figure out the steps that may be taken to check swine flu from spreading any more.

New Delhi| 6 SC judges are down with swine flu and a meeting had been held with the CJI to explore remedial measures, a senior judge said.

Hearings in two constitution bench cases, including a nine-judge bench on the Sabrimala religion versus rights case, have been affected because of judges falling sick.

“Six judges are down with H1N1 virus,” Justice DY Chandrachud announced in court, adding that all judges had a meeting with Chief Justice SA Bobde to discuss the situation. One judge, Sanjiv Khanna, came to the court wearing a mask, reported news agency IANS.

Justice Chandrachud said he had asked Chief Justice Bobde to direct the inoculation of those working in the Supreme Court.

The Chief Justice also met with the Supreme Court Bar Association president Dushyant Dave. Justice Bobde “is very concerned and said the government was setting up a dispensary in the Supreme Court for inoculation and vaccination,” said Mr Dave after the meeting.

Also Read: SC commences hearing on pleas seeking review of Sabarimala verdict

Mr Dave told IANS that some foreign delegation members who participated in a judicial conference in the Supreme Court complex recently were infected by the virus.

The outbreak of swine flu in the Supreme Court began with Justice M.M. Shantanagoudar. After this, Justice A.S. Bopanna got infected, two sources in the top court told ThePrint.

Shantanagoudar was present in the court Tuesday.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna was seen wearing a mask in the court Tuesday while conducting the session where the bench was led by Justice N.V. Ramana.

The early indication of the matter came after two judges on the Sabarimala reference Constitution bench felt unwell. Thereafter, a constitution bench led by Justice Arun Mishra too couldn’t hear the listed cases as Justice Indira Banerjee wasn’t in court Tuesday.

During the proceedings, Justice Arun Mishra also chose to work on the side of caution, asking senior counsel Aryana Sundaram to take rest as he was not feeling well.

While arguing for a case before a Mishra-led bench, Sundaram said that another lawyer will argue the rest as he “had exhausted himself”.

“Are you okay counsel?” Mishra asked, to which the lawyer said he wasn’t feeling well. “Don’t come to court and argue then. We are saying because of something,” said Mishra.

Sundaram agreed, “Yes your lordship, six judges…” Before the lawyer could complete, Justice M.R. Shah intervened and said, “H1N1 flu it is.”

Last week, the Indian army of German software group SAP said it had shut down all offices in the country for sanitisation after two of its employees in Bengaluru tested positive for the H1N1 virus.

The symptoms of H1N1 include fever, chills and sore throat and is similar to seasonal influenza but has seen higher fatality rates among healthy young adults and higher incidence of viral pneumonia.

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