Jammu & Kashmir

Virtual hearing in JK, Ladakh courts as COVID cases rise

A file photo of High Court in Srinagar.

As Jammu and Kashmir continues to witness a rise in COVID cases, the Chief Justice of High Court of JK and Ladakh has issued directions with regard to hearing and filing of the cases in the High Court as well as in the District and Subordinate Courts and Tribunals in JK and Ladakh.

The courts in both the union territories have shifted to the virtual mode of hearing. The physical mode is possible only if an emergency occurs.

As per an order issued by Chief Justice, “Ordinarily, the hearing of cases listed before a Bench shall be through virtual mode, however, physical hearing in respect of any listed matter will be at the discretion of the Bench concerned subject to the satisfaction of the Bench regarding urgency involved in such matter and thereafter such matter can be taken up for physical hearing on the date fixed by the Bench” reads an order.

“The Registrars Judicial of both wings of the High Court in coordination with the CPC e-Courts shall create a link for each Bench in their respective wings and provide the same to the advocates and litigants by making it available on the official website of the High Court or through any appropriate electronic mode,” the CJ added in the order.

While the order underscores that the entry of litigants and the public into the Court premises from the very outer gate shall be strictly prohibited. The entry of clerks of the advocates shall be restricted to the chambers of advocates and their entry into the court building and sections/offices shall be prohibited, it said.

In order to decongest the sections, offices or Courts, the order said, that the officials shall be permitted to function in batches with a 50 per cent reduction on a rotation basis.

“The roster in this regard shall be formulated by the Registrar Judicial of the concerned wing. The officials, who as per the roster are not on duty in the office, shall not leave the station and shall remain available on telephone and electronic means of communication at all times,” the order said.

It added, “The Registrars Judicial of both wings of the High Court, shall ensure sanitization of the entire High Court Complex on every Saturday and Sunday”.


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