The Full Court of the Kerala High Court on Friday decided to restrict functioning to hear only urgent matters until after the Summer-vacation, in view of the advisory issued by the Government cautioning against mass gathering to avoid the spread of COVID-19 infection.
In view thereof, the following directions have been issued for regulating the Court Proceedings, until further orders:
1. Only very urgent admission matters will be posted before the Court. Cases for fresh admission should be accompanied with a stating specific reasons of urgency and the same will be listed before the court, subject to satisfaction of the Registrar (Judicial). Counsels who are aggrieved by the decision of the Registrar will obtain prior permission from the Court for posting the case. No case will be listed normally for hearing in the Courts. No weekly hearing or daily hearing/disposal list will be published;
2. Filing of all papers in the Filing Section of the Registry will be permitted only up to 12.30 p.m. on all filing days;
3. No petition other than petition for extension of stay/interim order will be posted before the Court;
4. Prior permission for listing in respect of all matters (Single Judge & Division Bench) will be issued only by the Division Bench and that too in extremely urgent cases only;
5. All petitions in which the stay/interim order expires on or before the reopening of the Court (18.05.2020), will be posted in Court concerned as per the usual procedure. No representation will be required for extension and Stay/interim order will be extended till the reopening of the Court and the cases will be posted in the reopening week;
7. In order to reduce the large gathering in the Admission Courts, more number of Courts will take up admission matters in writs and criminal jurisdiction;
8. In order to avoid the crowding of Advocates/Clerks in the Judicial Sections, the following arrangements will be made:
a) About half the number of Filing Scrutiny Officers will be shifted to a new location near to the present Filing Section, to the maximum extent possible;
b) Help Desk will be provided in the entrance of the Copying Section, Court Officers' Section & Data Entry Section and all papers/query be furnished by the Counsel/Clerks at the Help Desk. Entry inside these Sections will be permitted only in extremely urgent cases and that too when services could not be provided from the Help Desk;
The court has also advised all the interns/trainees to abstain from attending Courts/Chambers.
Further, the Court staff has been permitted to abstain from attending office on rotation basis. (Guidelines/Procedure for regulating the presence of staff in office will be issued by the Registrar General, after assessing the requirements and taking into consideration government orders.)