The global and domestic catastrophe caused by the rapid and seemingly uncontrollable spread of coronavirus is not only unprecedented in modern times, but also tremendously harmful on several levels. Except for a few countries, almost the whole planet is in lockdown, with only vital services allowed to function and operate.
We are confident that humanity will be able to successfully treat the novel coronavirus and end the current crisis soon nevertheless, the tremendous and inexplicable damage that this crisis will undoubtedly inflict before it passes must be taken into account.
The challenges as far as mental and sociological conduct relating to the whole human race would be seriously disturbing and baffling in its massively assorted ambit. The very definition and embodiment of globalization makes certain to take a destructive blow. Nations across the globe would return to their approaches, monetary and political, relating to globalization. In the post COVID-19 future, we ought to anticipate that more inflexible and complex policies should take the front seat.1
POST COVID RELIEF FOR INDIA’S LEGAL SYSTEM
Things are about to change dramatically in our country’s legal system. Although the corporate participants would like to avoid litigation at all costs, this does not mean that litigation would come to a halt. No way, but litigation is a by-product of trust deficit, coupled with other pertinent issues, from a psychological standpoint. It is critical to recognize that litigation after COVID-19 will not be the same as it was before.
Individual lawyers and law companies must be adequately prepared for the difficult road ahead. Though litigation, as well as non-contentious activity, is expected to increase after COVID 19, they must be cautious that the increased volume of work does not match their income expectations. It is past time for law firm executives to consider this restructuring option, which could help to balance the interests of all stakeholders.2
We must keep in mind that hundreds of legal graduates enter the field each year, and they must be appropriately placed in the midst of the problem. We need to instill confidence in our clients that, like other industries, the legal industry is ready to meet challenges.
In reality, it could be asserted that in the outcome of COVID-19, the legitimate business would see an increment in labor, as the rebuilding of social and financial request would bring about an outstanding development in claims. This surge of litigation, on the other hand, would not bring in revenue in proportion to what it could have fetched previously.
On the one hand, lawyers must deal with post-COVID-19 business and contractual conflicts, while on the other, they must embrace and overcome the problems of such battles not producing as much cash as they did before.3
COVID-19’s effects will be felt for a long time. Individuals, businesses, and institutions alike will be affected for a long time after the lockdown is lifted and life returns to some sort of routine. This is particularly true in the country’s judicial system. Countless COVID-19-related cases will undoubtedly be filed in courts around the country. These cases will be added to an already overburdened system, which has been exacerbated by an unplanned court shutdown.
In such a case, it would be prudent for the judiciary to plan ahead of time by putting in place a system that can handle the flood of cases. The judiciary must streamline the handling of all COVID-19 matters in the post-lockdown phase by designating specific courts and judges as special courts to handle all such issues. This will keep the system from failing due to the overwhelming number of instances. Cases must be resolved quickly in order to reopen delayed services and industries.
Access to the Court is also critical in providing relief to people who are under financial, mental, or physical pressure. In the following months, the judiciary’s readiness will determine the lives and fortunes of companies and individuals. Failure to take the essential steps will result in not just a judicial crisis, but also a judicially created catastrophe on an already beleaguered economy.4
As judges, advocates, and litigants struggle to obtain justice under the law while balancing public safety, the epidemic of Covid-19 is disrupting litigation in many ways and has crippled courts around the country. Due to the rapid spread of this virus, all courts and tribunals in the country have been closed in order to avoid human contact and prevent the transmission of new coronavirus. The central government and the judiciary, on the other hand, have taken a variety of measures to assist those who are confronting this unprecedented problem.
Despite the fact that the courts are closed, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has decided to take up urgent matters using virtual technology so that counsel and plaintiffs do not have to attend in person in the court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has further instructed that virtual proceedings and e-filing be promoted by the respective Bars. The virtual hearing may not completely replace the actual hearing, and once COVID-19’s effects has faded, we will have to return to the actual hearing.5
However, no one can predict the impact of COVID-19 which is why now is the ideal time to revise the current law and framework to establish a unified approach to virtual hearing. It’s probably time for us to view this pandemic as a blessing rather than a burden after all, adaptation is the most basic secret to survival of the fittest. As courts reopen and active activity resumes, the long-term consequences of a judicial system in suspended animation will become apparent. But it has been a year of reversals for everyone, from law students to practitioners to judicial officers to clients.
Allu Hari Narayana
2 https://www.mondaq.com/india/litigation-contracts-and-force-majeure/911550/covid-19-and-indian-courts Accessed on 26th June, 2021
3 https://www.theleaflet.in/covid-19-did-indias-courts-run-just-to-stay-where-they-are/ Accessed on 27th June,2021
4 https://www.africanwomeninlaw.com/post/covid-19-indian-judicial-system-moving-beyond-the-traditional-conventions-of-in-court-hearings Accessed on 27th June, 2021
5 https://www.mondaq.com/india/arbitration-dispute-resolution/1046078/future-of-litigation-and-adr-in-india-post-covid-19- Accessed on 28th June,2021