Considering the issue of overcrowding in courts during the Corona pandemic, the Administrative and General Supervision Committee of the Delhi High Court has passed a resolution to restrict the functioning of the court till April 3.
The committee consisted of Chief Justice DN Patel and the other senior judges of the High Court, such as, Justice Hima Kohli, Justice Vipin Sanghi, Justice Siddharth Mridul, Justice Manmohan, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, and Justice JR Midha.
The meeting was held after it was highlighted by the High Court Bar Association that despite the earlier directions of the court, the desired result of decongesting the court premises have not been achieved.
Taking note of the same, the court has restricted its functioning till April 3, as per the fresh roster.
As per the new roster, the functioning of all the three jurisdictions - civil, criminal and original - have been restricted to the following schedule:
This fresh roster will only hear the urgent matters. The urgency of the said matters shall be determined by the following Joint Registrars (Judicial):
The matters can only be mentioned before the said JRs between the period of 10:30 am to 12 noon.
To further decongest the courts, only one Advocate per party shall be permitted entry in the courtrooms. This restriction, however, does not apply to Senior Advocates, who may appear with only one briefing counsel.
While considering the need of decongesting the trial courts in Delhi, the committee has decided that all the subordinate courts will only take up bail/urgent matters till March 31. Matters at the stage of final arguments, and the time bound matters, are adjourned till March 31.
Moreover, the unit criteria applicable to subordinate courts shall remain suspended from March 16 to March 31.
It is also directed by the committee that no undertrial prisoner shall be produced before the subordinate courts till March 31, and if production of any such person is indispensable, the facility of video conferencing shall be utilised.
Further, for the extension of remand in remaining matters, the District and Sessions Judge (headquarters) would depute sufficient numbers of Duty Metropolitan Magistrates in all the jails of Delhi, or use the facility of video conferencing.
The committee has also directed the Delhi Judicial Academy to suspend all judicial training programmes till March 31. However, for DJS officers undergoing induction training, this rule will not apply.
In light of these directions, the committee has highlighted that the filing counter in the High Court will remain open and the limitation period would continue to run as before.