The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday decided that till further orders, physical hearing of the cases at the Principal Bench of High Court at Bengaluru shall stand cancelled, in wake of the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the city. The benches at Dharwad and Kalaburagi shall function normally.
The notice issued by the high court says that :
"During the last few days, the number of cases tested positive for Covid-19 in the city of Bengaluru are multiplying. Considering the safety of members of the Bar and the Court staff, till further orders, physical hearing of the cases at the Principal Bench of High Court at Bengaluru shall stand cancelled and only those Benches which are already notified for hearing of urgent matters through video conferencing will function. The Benches at Dharwad and Kalaburagi shall function normally as per notified schedule."
It may be noted that physical hearing at the Principal Bench was suspended today (June 30), for sanitization of the entire High Court Complex, due to unavoidable circumstances. The notice further reads that :
"The cause list of urgent matters notified for today (30th June 2020) will be taken up tomorrow (Wednesday 1st July 2020) for Video Conferencing hearing. The urgent cases which are fixed for Wednesday-1st July 2020 shall be listed on Thursday–2nd July 2020 and Friday–3rd July 2020 for Video Conferencing hearing.
The Bench of Chief Justice and Justice B.V. Nagarathna which is scheduled to hear Public Interest Litigations in respect of 'Covid-19' stands reconstituted and the Bench of the Chief Justice and Justice Aravind Kumar will hear the said matter.
Further, members of the Bar are requested to send requisitions for listing of only those cases which are really extremely urgent. It is noticed that a large number of requests are being forwarded by email for listing matters which are not really urgent"
The notice says :
"If this continues and the members of the Bar do not cooperate, it will become very difficult for the Court to function. This may result in stopping the Court functioning. Therefore, the cooperation of the members of the Bar is solicited. The requests for listing forwarded by email will require 72 hours for processing instead of 48 hours as mentioned in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)."
"The appointments given for filing of cases on Thursday (2nd July 2020) and Friday (3rd July 2020) are not cancelled. The appointments given for rectification of objections are also not cancelled. Those who have been given appointments for physical filing of cases and for rectification of objections today (30th June 2020) can visit the Court on Friday (3rd July 2020) as per slots already given today (30th June 2020). In the next.week, the number of slots for physical filing and for rectification of objections will be reduced.
The High Court (only the Principal Bench at Bengaluru) and all other Courts in Bengaluru Urban and Rural Districts shall remain closed on Saturday (4th July 2020)".