In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, the Appellate side of the Calcutta High Court has restricted its functioning to urgent matters only from Tuesday, March 17.
"It is hereby notified for information of all concerned that from Tuesday, the 17th March, 2020 the cause list will be published for only those matters which are urgent in nature and mentioned before the respective Benches for listing," the notification issued by the Registrar General states.
All activities in the Judicial Academy have also been postponed from Monday, March 16, until further orders.
The high court has directed that the presence of staff in the court will be reduced to at least half and the staff will work on a rotational basis. Further, absence of staff on a particular day because of this advisory will be treated as 'On Duty'.
Instructions have been issued for appointment of medical units at all entry points of the Main Building and also at the Centenary and the Sesquicentenary Buildings of the High Court for thermal screening of every entrant, including the Judges.
"If someone is found to have a fever, immediate follow up action shall be taken by the doctors stationed at such points including restricting of entry," the order states.
The high court has also decided to not insist on personal appearance of parties, unless the same is indispensable and instead of physical production of undertrial prisoners (UTPs) from jails, facility of video conferencing be availed. Further, no adverse orders shall be passed against any litigant for non-appearance, even on Monday, March 16.
The high court has advised against overcrowding and has asked all the lawyers to instruct their clients to not visit the court, unless unavoidable. All Bar rooms have also been closed except for the purpose of lawyers obtaining their belongings therefrom.
Instructions have further been issued to all the sub-ordinate Courts to ensure that sanitizers are available in all Court Rooms and all Departments and also in the respective Court complexes for the visitors as well as the staff.
The situation will be reviewed by the high court authorities on Friday, March 20.
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