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Madras HC Switches Back To Virtual Hearings Amid Rising Threat Of Covid 19 In Chennai [Read Notification]

6 Jun 2020 5:17 AM GMT
Madras HC Switches Back To Virtual Hearings Amid Rising Threat Of Covid 19 In Chennai [Read Notification]
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The Executive Committee of the Madras High Court has decided that functioning of the High Court both at the principal seat in Madras and at its bench in Madurai will be restricted to hearing of only urgent matters, via video conferencing.

Earlier it was intimated that the High Court bench at Madurai will permit accessibility to courts with physical hearing in court-halls to the maximum of five lawyers and at the Principal seat in Madras, the Judges may function either from their respective chambers or court-halls, subject to availability of effective connectivity through Video Conferencing only.

However through a notification issued on Friday, June 5, it is intimated that the mode of functioning of the High Court shall be limited to video conferencing for urgent and emergent matters only through Two Division Benches and Four Single Judges at the Principal Seat at Chennai and One Division Bench and Three Single Judges at Madurai Bench.

Further, the Judges will conduct hearings only from their respective residences through video conferences until 30th June, 2020, with bare minimum staff.

The decision has been taken in the backdrop of the "precarious condition" in Chennai in respect of the threat perception of the spread of the Corona Virus.

The Executive Committee has noted that the situation thereon is not "conducive" and it is necessary to cut down and reduce the number of working court staff and officers, who are scattered over different parts of the City and surrounding areas of Chennai.

The Committee has further observed that if physical hearings are continued, movement of case files by deploying additional staff, and movement of maintenance staff of video conferencing connections and equipments as well as transportation of files, may raise the risk of a possible spread of the infection.

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