The Telangana High Court on Tuesday took stock of the Supreme Court guidelines passed on April 6,2020 for court functioning through video conferencing, during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Full Court has also resolved to cancel the summer vacation for High Court and all subordinates Courts.
"It is also resolved to cancel the Summer Vacation both for the High Court as well as the Subordinate Courts and all the courts in the State shall continue to function throughout May 2020 till 5th June, 2020"
Further to this, vide a press note, the High Court in a Full Court Reference, also conducted via Video Conferencing, it was decided that only urgent matters will be taken up even after the 21-day nationwide lockdown ends. Accordingly, this arrangement shall continue till April 30, 2020.
The Press note also accounts for the fact that the restrictions of the lockdown may be lifted in a phased manner and opening courts fully shall be averse to social distancing guidelines.
"Considering the fact that the lockdown may be lifted in a phased manner and 100% opening of the courts may lead to congregation of the people in the court premises, the Full Court has resolved to continue the present arrangement with regard to the functioning of the High Court and the District Courts till April 30, 2020. At the High Court level only extreme urgent matters namely Bail applications, stay applications fresh admissions such as PILs will be taken up.The order released by the Registrar General of the Telangana High Court, A. Venkateswara Reddy stated that all courts are required to adhere to the directions of the Supreme Court for online filing and Video Conferencing."
The Supreme Court on Monday issued a slew of directions in order to streamline the functioning of courts via video conferencing during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao highlighted the immense need to observe social distancing alongside unhindered access to justice.
Chief Justice SA Bobde also pointed out that the technology of Video Conferencing was here to stay.
In exercise of Article 142 of the Constitution of India, the Bench passed several norms for conducting VC hearings and urged for cooperation of all courts, judges, litigants, parties, staff and other stakeholders for successful implementation of the above directions so as to ensure that court premises do not contribute to the spread of virus.
In related news, the Bombay High Court also released a circular last week, wherein it requested the state government for requisite funds in order to make hearings conducted via Video Conferencing, a long-term option.
Click here to read circular
Read Press Note