No physical hearing in J&K HC till Apr 18

Wajahat Shabir. Updated: 4/6/2021 10:40:43 AM Front Page

Srinagar: Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases the Chief Justice (CJ) of Jammu and Kashmir Pankaj Mithal Monday ordered the hearing of cases in the High Court of J&K, District, Subordinate Courts and Tribunals through virtual mode till 18th April.
As per the order issued by Chief Justice Jammu and Kashmir Pankaj Mithal, entry of litigants and public into the Court premises from the very outer gate will continue to be prohibited.
“Keeping in view the sudden surge in COVID- 19 infection cases in the Country in general and UTS of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh in particular, the High Court order dated 03.02.2021 regarding resumption Of physical hearing of cases is kept in abeyance for the time being and the hearing of cases in the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir as well as in the District and Subordinate Courts and Tribunals shall be conducted through Virtual Mode as per directions”, the order reads.
With regard to High Court, the order reads, “Entry of litigants and public into the Court premises from the very outer gate shall continue to be prohibited. In addition to virtual hearing, the matters may also be taken up for physical hearing, where the learned counsel for both the parties to the list give their consent for such physical hearing and if counsel for either party declines or fails to give such consent in that event the roster bench may consider the request of other counsel for physical hearing”.
“Identification of cases for physical hearing shall be done by the concerned Registrar Judicial a day before the date of listing. Advocates concerned in a particular case, who intend to get their case listed for the physical hearing shall give written consent for physical appearance and provide the requisite detail of the case to the concerned Registrar Judicial through e_mail at least two days before the date of listing”, it added.
“The Registrar Judicial concerned, then, shall provide a list of such counsel whose cases are listed for physical hearing, well in time to the Incharge Security at the main gate to facilitate entry of such counsel. In order to decongest the sections/offices/Courts, the officials shall be permitted to function in batches with a 25 per cent reduction on a rotation basis. The roster in this regard shall be formulated by the Registrar”, it added.
With regarding the 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 staff on duty and the counsel appearing physically in Court shall take necessary precautions, ensure physical distancing, wearing of mask and observance of SOPs and guidelines issued by the respective Governments from time to time.
In District and Subordinate Courts and Tribunals in UTS of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, entry of litigants and public into the Court premises from the very outer gate shall continue to be prohibited.
Pr. District & Sessions Judges, taking into consideration the urgency involved, apart from virtual hearing, may, where the learned counsel for the parties/parties in person involved give their consent to appear for the physical hearing, permit physical hearing in Criminal trials where accused is/ are in Custody, Matrimonial Cases, MACT Cases, Cases under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, Compromise matters or in any other matter as deemed desirable in the courts under their jurisdiction.
The courts under the supervision of concerned Pr. District & Sessions Judge shall devise their own mechanism for a listing of cases for physical hearing after taking consent of respective counsel, subject to their own assessment of prevailing local conditions including the intensity of COVID- 19 infection.
The staff on duty in courts and the counsel appearing physically shall take necessary precautions, ensure physical distancing, wearing of mask and observance of SOPs and guidelines issued by the respective Governments from time to time.
“In order to decongest the sections/offices of the Courts, the officials working in the Subordinate Courts shall be permitted to function in batches with 25 per cent reduction on rotation basis. The roster in this regard shall be formulated by the concerned Presiding Officer of the Court. 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. These directions shall remain in force till 18th of April 2021 unless reviewed earlier”, the order added.


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