Virtual court hearing mode extended until May 31
In light of the surge in Covid cases, Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal on Monday extended the virtual hearing mode in all courts in J&K and Ladakh until May 31.
“Taking note of the daily increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 infection and the prevailing situation due to the rapid spread of the infection, High Court Order No. 259 of 2021 / RG of 26.04.2021 (the basic order by which the mode of virtual hearing was initially ordered) is extended until 31 May 2021 ”, we read in an order of the chief judge.
Although the ordinance emphasizes that certain judicial officers and officials of the district and of the subordinate judiciary have tested positive for COVID-19, it says: “Consequently, the judicial officers of the subordinate judicial power are free to work in virtual from their respective official residences. “
“For referral purposes or to meet any judicial requirement, the district judge prepares a list of district judges and magistrates,” the order adds.
In his order issued on April 26, the Chief Justice ordered that the filing as well as the hearing of cases in both wings of the High Court as well as in the district and subordinate courts and tribunals take place in virtual mode until to May 15.
While the ordinance had strictly prohibited the entry of litigants, the public and clerks of lawyers into the premises of the Court from the very outer door in the two wings of the High Court, it had said: “For the filing of cases, the court clerks from both wings of the The High Court will create a dedicated email address for their respective filing desks and notify the lawyers / litigants by making it available on the High Court website ”.
Usually, “before notification matters”, says the order, must be dealt with by each bench unless the urgency of an “after notification” matter is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the judiciary concerned.
“The physical hearing on any matter enumerated will be at the discretion of the relevant judiciary subject to the satisfaction of the judiciary regarding the extreme urgency involved in such a case and thereafter that case will be resumed for a physical hearing at the date set by the judiciary. Bench, ”says the order.
The order stressed that entry of lawyers into the premises of the High Court is not required unless a lawyer is allowed to be physically heard in any extremely urgent matter. He added that to decongest the sections / offices / courts, officials would be allowed to operate in batches with a 50 percent reduction on a rotational basis.