HC suspends routine work till April 4, to hear urgent matters onlyStrap: Restrictions imposed in district courts till March 31Updated: Mar 17, 2020 19:56 IST
Taking precautionary measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Jharkhand high court on Tuesday decided to suspend regular court functioning from March 18 till April 4 but maintained that it would hear urgent matters during this period.
For district courts, the restriction will be effective till March 31.
The decision came a day after the state government declared closure of schools, colleges, universities, parks, cinema halls, clubs, bars and other places of public gathering till April 14.
Chief justice Ravi Ranjan, other high court judges and members of HC advocates’ association on Tuesday discussed the issue and decided to restrict court’s functioning to only urgent matters for next 18 days. A full court meeting was also held and a slew of directions were issued for the high court and the subordinate courts across the state. A core committee to be constituted by the chief justice would review the situation from time to time till April 4.
“Urgent matters like regular bail, anticipatory bail, cases related to eviction, demolition, disconnection of electricity, water supply and others will be heard. Fresh filing of such cases too can be done till 12.30 pm on all working days,” said a notification issued by the high court.
In order to ensure less crowding in the court, entry of litigants on the court campus has been prohibited till April 4. No person except the lawyers who are going to act in the matter along with one litigant only will be permitted to enter in the courtroom, the notification said.
Canteen and food kiosks on the court campuses will remain closed till April 4.
Regarding subordinate courts, it has been directed to restrict court’s functioning to urgent matters only till March 31. Production of jail inmates would be undertaken through videoconferencing only. No coercive steps would be taken to ensure attendance of witnesses in criminal cases.
The lower courts have been directed not to pass adverse/default orders even parties are found at default till March 31.
All mediation proceedings, Lok Adalats, legal awareness camps and outreach programmes of district legal services authority would remain suspended from March 18 till March 31. All bar rooms, association halls, canteens and food kiosks within the district court campuses would remain closed. Entry of litigants would be restricted and crowding or assembly of people on the court campus would not be allowed till March 31.
Besides, training programmes in Jharkhand Judicial Academy have been suspended till March 31. The chief secretary has been asked to take appropriate measures regarding juvenile justice boards/observation homes/shelter homes and all jail premises.