The Madras High Court has decided to re-open the High Court and the subordinate courts in the state and the UT of Puducherry for physical functioning, in a staggered manner.
As per a notification issued on Saturday, all the Judges at the Principal Bench of the High Court at Madras may function either from their respective chambers or court-halls, subject to availability of effective connectivity through Video Conferencing only.
It has been clarified however that the facility of video conferencing will be expanded to hearing of cases by all the Judges in their respective assigned jurisdiction.
For the High Court bench at Madurai it is intimated that in addition to hearing via video conferencing, the court may also continue with an additional relaxation of allowing accessibility with physical hearing in court-halls to the maximum of five lawyers at a time inside one court-hall including the State Government Counsel.
However, the number of cases for open hearing in court-halls in a day shall not be more than 10 with a time slot allotted to the respective Advocates, with strict instructions only to enter the court-hall only when their cases are shown on the display board or otherwise intimated to them.
It is also clarified that in the event it is observed that the physical court hearings in any way is causing any impediment, or is likely to cause any such threat to the COVID-19 health and hygiene precautionary norms, the Administrative Judge at Madurai Bench shall immediately recall any such physical sittings of hearing cases in open courts and continue with the hearing of cases through video conferencing method.
Similarly, an office Memorandum has been issued for the Subordinate Courts whereby it is intimated that all the Presiding Officers are allowed to enter the court premises in all the Districts and to continue their work through video conferencing with 15-20 cases approximately per court per day.
Further, physical open court-hearing of cases in a limited and restricted manner with strict observance of only the presence of maximum of five lawyers including State Counsel at a time at the District Head Quarters of the nine stipulated Districts may be introduced by the Principal District Judges concerned.
These nine districts are: Dharmapuri, The Nilgiris, Krishnagiri, Tiruvarur, Theni, Ramanathapuram, Nagapattinam, Karur and Sivagangai.
As an additional measure it is also directed that appeal cases, where neither the presence of the litigants or otherwise any other assistance is required, except that of the lawyers, may be heard through video conferencing, subject to the availability of the facility and the time period available to the respective courts.
Read further details in the notifications attached below.
Click Here To Download Notification For HC
Click Here To Download Office Memo For Subordinate Courts