Following the declaration of 21-day lockdown country wide in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Full Court of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh has taken a decision to go for partial lock-down of the High Court and the Subordinate Courts. The High Court has taken a decision to take up only imminently urgent cases in the High Court as well as in the Subordinate Courts. Accordingly, notifications were issued by the High Court with regard to the disposal of urgent work in the High Court and the Subordinate Courts, which are placed in the official website of the High Court.
So far as disposal of extremely urgent cases in the High Court is concerned, the High Court has taken a decision to dispose the cases only through Web-hearing, i.e. through Video-Conferencing in view of the need so occurred. The Chief Justice and the Registry have planned for the hearing of cases by using ZOOM MEETING APPLICATION, which is an open-source software.
High Court has decided to install the software in the desktop/i-pad/mobile of the Hon'ble Judges. The learned Advocate General, Public Prosecutor, Asst. Solicitor General and other learned Advocates have been requested to download the said APPLICATION in their respective devices.
Advocates and parties who appear in person before the High Court have been requested to submit the soft copies of their cases to the Registrar (Judicial) to his official e-mail.
After receiving requests from the Advocates and parties-in-person, Registrar (Judicial) will place all the requests before the Hon'ble the Chief Justice and his Lordship permits hearing of only imminently urgent matters through Video-Conferencing. After scrutiny and registration of the cases by the Registry, the cases are placed before the Hon'ble the Chief Justice and His Lordship will fix a date and time for web-hearing of the cases through Video-Conferencing through the Bench so constituted by His Lordship.
As per schedule, the Chief Justice would be sitting at his official residence whereas the companion Judge would be sitting at His Lordship's residence.
Prior to the meeting, the Registry will log into the APPLICATION from the official residence of the Chief Justice and invite the companion Judge, learned Advocate General, Asst. Solicitor General, Public Prosecutor and respective counsel who will be sitting in their respective houses, to the VC, by sharing the meeting ID and password to their mobiles.
Learned Advocate General, learned Asst. Solicitor General, learned Govt. Pleaders of different Department, learned public Prosecutor, Advocates, who are appearing for their clients in the respective cases would be sitting at their respective houses in order to participate in the Video-Conferencing.
The cases are being taken up as per the cause list and the counsel concerned will be advancing arguments from their end and the Chief Justice and the companion Judge will be hearing the cases through Video-Conferencing.
So far, Web-hearing of cases through Video-Conferencing has been held on 31.03.2020, 01.04.2020 and 02.04.2020 by adopting the above procedure.
Through this mode, the Chief Justice, the companion Judge and the respective counsel are able to participate in the web hearing through Video Conferencing by sitting at their respective residences, duly complying with the lock-down advisory issued by the Govt. of India as well as the State Government, which is a unique feature.
The orders are immediately uploaded in the official website of the High Court.