Cover Story Jammu & Kashmir The Lead

Physical hearing in courts across J&K, Ladakh to resume from Feb 08


‘Protocol will be reviewed periodically depending upon the trend of spread of COVID-19 infection’

Srinagar, Feb 04: The chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Thursday amended the earlier notification and gave nod to the physical hearing of cases in all district, subordinate and the tribunal courts in J&K and Ladakh UT’s from February 8.

The fresh order, was issued by the Chief Justice, Pankaj Mithal keeping in view the latest SOPs of the Government of India.

The order reads that the physical hearing of the cases in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir as well as in the District and Subordinate Courts and Tribunals in UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh shall resume February 08.

It said that “However, to ensure that there is no complacency against the spread of COVID-19 infection. Advocates shall be allowed entry into the Court premises.”

It further reads that, however, advocates shall themselves restrict their entry in a manner that only those Advocates enter the Court building on a given day whose cases are listed on that day before any of the Bench/Court.

“On entry into the Court building, Advocates shall strictly maintain the social distancing SOPs while waiting for hearing of their cases. They shall not huddle either in the well or in the gallery outside the Court Rooms. As and when their cases are finished they shall endeavor to leave the court premises at once.”

As and when the Advocates finish their case in the Court room and exit it, they shall immediately leave the gallery and not stand there.

It reads that the entry of Clerks and agents of the Advocates into the Court rooms shall continue to be prohibited for the time being.

“Entry of litigants and public into the Court premises from the very outer gate shall continue to be prohibited. If, however, any litigant on any reasonable ground is compelled to argue his case personally, he shall be
allowed entry into the Court premises subject to the condition that he makes an application at least two days prior to the date of hearing
through e-mail to the Registrar Judicial/Presiding Officer of the Court disclosing such compelling reasons and secking permission in that regard.”

The order reads that the entry of the clerical staff of the Advocate General’s office or of any Standing Counsel of any Department or any Government Officer shall continue to be prohibited in the Court rooms for the time being, unless specifically summoned or called by any Court.”

It reads that for the time being, Advocates are free to file their cases, applications etc., either physically or by virtual mode.

“The entry of Advocates in the office rooms/branches of the High Court Registry/Courts shall continue to be prohibited.”

It further reads that the aforesaid relaxation of entry into 09.30 am till 05.00 pm on each working day.

It reads that the canteens located in the premises of the Court Complexes are also permitted to be opened and run with effect from 08.02.2021 subject to the strict observance of all the relevant SOPs, instructions.

“The canteen holders shall restrict/reduce the attendance of their workmen to 50% of their respective roll of employees.”

It reads that this protocol will be reviewed periodically depending upon the trend of spread of COVID-19 infection.


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