Several judges from the country's highest court have reportedly fallen ill with the H1N1 influenza virus. Speculation is rife that this might delay a number of important hearings.
Six Supreme Court judges are down with H1N1, otherwise known as swine flu, said Judge Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud of India's Supreme Court on Tuesday.
He added that a meeting will be held with the country's Chief of Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde to discuss measures including possible vaccinations of those working in the Supreme Court.
One judge, Sanjiv Khanna, arrived to the court wearing a mask, reported local news agency IANS.
The symptoms of H1N1 include fever and chills, similar to those of the new coronavirus, and has seen higher fatality rates among healthy young adults than seasonal influenza.
The Chief of Justice also met with the Supreme Court Bar Association President Dushyant Dave. The Chief of Justice is "is very concerned and said the government was setting up a dispensary in the Supreme Court for inoculation and vaccination," Dave said after that meeting, according to Indian media agency NDTV.
Dave added that a number of foreign delegation members who recently took part in a judicial conference in the Supreme Court complex had also been infected by the flu.
German software giant SAP shut down their main offices last Thursday in Mumbai, Bangalore and Gurgaon for an "extensive sanitation" after two sick employees showing virus-like symptoms caused a scare. Examination results showed both workers tested positive for H1N1.
The judges' absence from the court could result in the temporary suspension of a number of hearings. Hearings in two constitution bench cases, including a nine-judge bench on the Sabarimala temple religious freedom case, have been affected due to the illness of the judges, NDTV reported.