The Rajasthan High Court on Friday (23rd October) issued a notification informing that it will start to regularly function from November 2, 2020, however, all preventive measures for effective control and containment of the spread of COVID-19 will remain in operation.
In the notification issued by the Rajasthan High Court, it has been mentioned that the suggestions received from The Bar Council of Rajasthan, Rajasthan High Court Advocates Association, Jodhpur, Rajasthan High Court Lawyers' Association, Jodhpur, Rajasthan High Court Bar Association, Jaipur and inputs received from the Registry have been considered while issuing such a direction.
The Notification states that all the Benches of the High Court will function regularly from 10.30 AM to 4.30 PM with a lunch break from 1.00 PM to 2.00 PM.
Importantly, it has been notified that the hearing of the matters shall be permitted both through physical appearance and video conferencing and in a case, the hearing may be conducted simultaneously through physical appearance and video conferencing.
Also, the Advocates concerned or parties-in-person opting for video conferencing would have to intimate the Court Master of concerned Hon'ble Court at least a day before the date of listing for the cases listed in Daily List and before 8.00 am on the day of listing for the cases listed in Supplementary list.
The Notification specifically clarifies that no request for virtual hearing sent after the stipulated time will be entertained.
General modalities (not exhaustive)
* For hearing purpose, for maintaining sufficient distance between the courtrooms, subject to location of the courtrooms, either even or odd number court rooms shall be used.
* In the Courtrooms, keeping in view the size of the rooms, chairs shall be kept maintaining social distancing by reducing the number of chairs.
* The vacant courtrooms would be utilized for sitting of the lawyers by providing limited chairs, with requisite distance.
* Benches in the court corridors would be arranged maintaining social distancing. It must also be ensured that gathering even in small groups in the entire premises is avoided.
* The name and mobile number of Court Master shall be published in the cause-list so that Learned Advocates may inform their option of hearing through video conferencing well within a stipulated time.
* The Court Master will send the link for video conferencing to concerned Advocates through SMS/email on the mobile number and email address registered in High Court CIS.
* Learned Advocates may check their mobile number and email address registered in High Court CIS by using the option 'Advocate details' in e-Services Menu on Home Page of the web site of Rajasthan High Court (www.hcraj.nic.in). If they require any change, addition or updation, they may send an email on dedicated email addresses as shown on the web site.
* There will be no separate time slot for hearing of cases through video conferencing. Such cases would be taken up as per their tum in the cause list. Learned Advocates/Parties-in-person would remain ready for video conferencing well in advance according to the Display Board (The Standard Operating Procedure for video conferencing is enclosed in the Notification).
* If any Advocate does not tum up in the first round, the case may be passed over for second round
* All fresh matters may be filed manually or by e-filing. While filing matters manually, learned Advocates will file their cases/documents/petitions/applications in the Filing Section while maintaining all precautionary measures as mentioned in Central & State Government Advisory.
* Only those learned Advocates shall be allowed in the courtroom who have to argue/present the case. No learned Advocate should be present in the courtroom with the purpose of seeking pass-over. Senior Advocates are advised to take assistance from only one Advocate. Learned Advocates other than Senior Advocates are advised to come alone in the courtroom.
*At any given time, learned Advocates relating to the case being taken up and next four cases on the list only are advised to remain present in the courtroom.
* Learned Advocates are advised to minimize the presence of Advocate Clerks in Court premises till complete normalcy returns. Advocate Clerks would be permitted to enter the premises through identity cards only.
* One litigant per case/each side shall be permitted into the court premises through e-pass which shall be issued on the recommendation of the counsel. In case the presence of a litigant is directed by the Hon'ble Court or he/she is appearing in person, then such litigant shall produce a copy of the order directing the presence/e-pass issued at the direction of the court.
* Learned Advocates, Litigants and other Stake-holders appearing in the courts shall be required to wear face mask or face cover. Wearing of hard gloves is preferred.
* The entry of law interns in the court premises is strictly prohibited.
* As Government advisory has required restricted movement for persons aged 65 years and above, learned Advocates/Senior Advocates and all other concerned aged 65 years and above are requested to exercise due caution/avoid physical appearance in the Courts.
* All the gates for entry of Learned Advocates, Staff members and Litigants for entering into the premises shall be equipped with requisite thermal scanners. The medical staff will permit the persons after proper screening as per the SOP issued by Central and State Government. Persons having flu-like symptoms shall not be allowed to enter the premises.
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