The Registrar General of the Delhi High Court vide order dated 14.01.2021 has instructed the Principal District & Sessions Judges and the Principal Judge, Family Court to start physical hearings on alternate days basis from 18.01.2020. The Court shall hear matters through video conferencing on non physical days.
The order directs the Principal District & Sessions Judges and the Principal Judge, Family Court to prepare a roster of all other subordinate courts falling within their respective districts to ensure that the courts can start physical hearings. This roster shall come into effect from 18th January 2021.
The order came in the view of decline in the intensity of spread of covid-19 pandemic in the NCT of Delhi.
It is further provided in the order that the subordinate courts are permitted to record evidence except in those cases wherein the accused is under the custody.
However, the order clarifies that the recording of evidence shall be done "while scrupulously adhering to the norms of social distancing, when holding courts physically."
The order also directs the Principal District & Sessions Judges to make necessary arrangements to produce under trial prisoners in physical courts. This shall be done in coordination with Director General (Prison) and concerned Lockup In-charge.
This, according to the order shall be done from 01.02.2021 after which their cases are to be taken up on priority basis. Evidence in such matters is also required to be recorded.
The order also requests all the advocates, litigants and other court visitors coming to the High Court complex for physical hearings to strictly adhere to the norms of social distancing and other covid-19 guidelines issued by the Central and the State Government.
The Delhi High Court in a similar order issued today announced that 11 benches of the Delhi High Court shall continue physical hearings from 18.01.2021.