In light of further extension of the nationwide lockdown, the Delhi High Court has also decided to continue with its restricted functioning till May 17.
The terms of the court functioning, both in the High Court as well as in the subordinate courts, will be similar to those prescribed in earlier orders dated March 23, March 25, and April 15.
To further expedite the listing of cases for video-conference hearing, the link for mentioning matters will now be available from 9:00 to 10:30 am.
While praising the process of video conferencing undertaken by the court to hear urgent matters, the order highlights that all the courts in Delhi, including the High Court, have already dealt with more than 11,427 urgent matters after the announcement of lockdown.
It is also informed in the order that the facility for video conferencing has also been set up in the High Court complex for those advocates who do not have the requisite infrastructure in their respective residences or offices. The District Courts have also been directed to create such facility in their respective court complexes.
The order states that:
'The progression of hearing of urgent l matters in Delhi High Court has been tremendous. Initially, when the hearings started taking place through videoconferencing, it was confined to extremely urgent matters. However, with the experience and after taking regular inputs from the Bar, presently, all the urgent matters of all kinds are being taken up by the Delhi High Court as well as the courts subordinate to it. The mentioning in High Court is exclusively through two-tier weblink, a completely transparent mechanism, which ensures contentment for all.'
The order also highlights that earlier only two Division Benches and four Single Benches were designated to take up urgent matters on alternate days. However, since last week, this strength has been increased to two Division Benches and six Single Benches who are taking up matters every day.
The order goes on to note that:
'Number of Benches can be increased further, depending on the workload. One Division Bench and one single Bench are already on standby. Procedure has also been put in place so that ripe matters of certain important categories can be disposed of on the basis of written submissions alone, subject to consent of counsel for both the sides.'