The Kerala High Court has instructed that production of an accused before the Magistrates and Special Judges in the state will be done via electronic means only, to prevent the spread of Covid infection in the court premises.
The direction comes after the High Court noted that on several instances, the accused person produced in the court physically later turned out to be Covid positive, forcing the concerned Magistrates to undergo self-quarantine.
Reportedly, three Magistrates and several police personnel have been sent into quarantine in two districts of Kerala, after three remand prisoners tested positive for COVID-19.
"Incidents have been reported from several parts of the State wherein the accused produced before the Magistrates later turned out to be covid-19 positive. Following this, the Magistrates concerned were forced to go in quarantine. In view of the spread of the pandemic, the Magistrates and the court staff are becoming more and more vulnerable to the disease," an official statement issued in this behalf read.
In these circumstances, the High Court has now directed the State Police Chief to ensure that an accused is produced before the Magistrates through electronic video linkage facility, even where the production is for the first time.
"It is directed that the Magistrates and Special Judges, before whom accused are produced after arrest either under a warrant or not, may allow production of the accused through electronic linkage or appropriate Electronic medium using Desktop/Laptop/Mobile or any such electronic linkage as may be available. The District Judges and Chief Judicial Magistrates shall communicate the directions to all the Magistrates and Special Judges accordingly and give necessary guidance and assistance to them in the matter," the official Memo states.
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