In suit with various other High Courts, the Full Court of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has restricted functioning of its Principal seat at Jabalpur and Benches at Indore and Gwalior, to hear urgent matters only.
The decision has been enforced with immediate effect as a measure to curb the transmission of COVID-19 pandemic. All other cases have been adjourned to the dates mentioned in the cause list, and this arrangement will continue till further review of the situation on March 20.
So far, the state of MP has not reported any positive case of COVID-19 and the above instructions have been issued as a preventive measure, in view of the health advisories issued by the Central government.
Instructions have also been issued to all the District Courts to prevent overcrowding by restricting entry. To this end, the high court has asked the courts not to insist on the presence of the parties, unless it is unavoidable; and to put the facility of video conferencing to optimum use, even in case of undertrial prisoners. Further, no adverse/default orders against non-appearance of parties.
In criminal matters, the request for exemption from personal appearance or the accused will be considered favourably.
In civil matters, wherever possible, service of Local Commissioner may be availed of for the purposes of recording of evidence, after obtaining the consent of both the parties. In matters at the stage of final argument, written submissions should be called upon to be submitted in court and the time for oral arguments should be reduced to the extent possible.
In addition to the same, measures for proper cleanliness and sanitization have also been stipulated.