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COVID-19: J&K HC Judges Resolve To Contribute For Welfare Of Affected Persons; Video Conferencing For Urgent Hearings

24 March 2020 2:37 AM GMT
COVID-19: J&K HC Judges Resolve To Contribute For Welfare Of Affected Persons; Video Conferencing For Urgent Hearings
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Keeping in view the projections on account of Corona Virus (Covid-19) Infection, the prohibitions and impact thereof, the Full Court of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to contribute a certain amount for the welfare of the affected persons.

In the meeting it was resolved that the Chief Justice and all Judges of the High Court may contribute Rs. 25,000/- each. Similarly, judges in the subordinate judiciary as well as all the Gazetted officers and Non-gazetted staff of the High Court and the Subordinate Courts may also contribute a certain fixed amount.

Inter alia, it has been directed that the filing counter of both wings of the High Court will remain closed for filing of all ordinary matters and the limitation period for all cases expiring during such period will be deemed as expiring on the date of resumption of filing.

Mentioning of an urgent case however may be made telephonically, by providing the requisite details. Further, the counsels should send an Urgency Memo through e-mail to the concerned Registrar Judicial by 3.00 pm, a day prior to the date of listing. The case shall then be heard through video conferencing, upon satisfaction about the urgency.

However, it has been clarified that in the event of Video Conferencing facility not being available, and in case of exceptional urgency, remote hearing of the cases may be conducted using Video Call facility. A Request for Video Call must be accompanied by a Photograph of Party and the Lawyer and the call will be initiated, terminated and controlled at the High Court end only. To this end, it has been directed:

  • Registrar Judicial of both wings shall arrange mobile handsets enabled with WhatsApp mobile app for video calls and shall also notify the mobile numbers which shall be used for video calling on the official website of the High Court as well as to the concerned party. Registrar Computers shall also ensure that technical manpower is available for operationalizing the video calls.
  • The concerned Advocate/Litigant shall ensure that the room from where he/she intends to appear before the Court through Video Call is free from all sorts of disturbances like external noises, poor lightening, improper acoustics etc.
  • As the proceedings through Video Call shall be conducted as judicial proceedings hence same courtesies and protocols will be observed as are being observed during judicial proceedings in the Court. All the relevant statutory provisions applicable to judicial proceedings shall apply.
  • No other person except the litigant/advocate shall be allowed in the room from where litigant/advocate is appearing through Video Call and if in the opinion of litigant/advocate the presence of any other person is very urgent/indispensable, requisite permission must be obtained from the Court.
  • The Advocate/Litigant allowed to be heard through Video Conference /Call has to be available and ready at least 30 minutes before the schedule time and no other recording device is permitted except the one installed in the Court/Video Conferencing Room.
  • Keeping in view the current emergent situation and extreme need of social distancing, wherever possible the Counsel appearing in the matters may be allowed to join the Video Conferencing from their own offices.

The High Court has also decided that the court staff will function in batches of minimal staff on rotation basis and all the training programmes at the State Judicial Academy will remain suspended till March 31.

Similar directions have also been issued to all the subordinate courts for listing or urgent cases and video conferencing/ calling. Additionally, following two special directions have been passed for all civil cases:

  • Interim injunction orders, wherever in force shall stand extended till the next date as notified on the website.
  • Personal appearance of any party or person wherever required shall stand deferred till the next date as notified on the website.

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