Coronavirus, Karnataka High court
Coronavirus, Karnataka High court

Coronavirus: Advocates Association of Bengaluru writes to CJI SA Bobde to close Karnataka Courts for 2 weeks

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Advocates Association of Bengaluru (AAB) recently wrote to the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde to shut the High Court as well as Trial Courts of Karnataka for two weeks in view of the corona virus pandemic.

The letter states that though two circulars have been issued by the High Court to prevent gathering of litigants as well as to take up only urgent matters, the same has not been completely implemented yet.

The Courts are still functioning just like any normal working day, with even final hearing matters listed on the cause list, the AAB letter reads.

"We have no doubt with the good intent of the Hon'ble Chief Justice, High of Karnataka, in issuing the circular. However the intent and object of circular has failed in implementation. The Court continues to work at full strength and the cause list of cases list even the final hearing matters. The lawyers are bound to attend Court when the cause list is issued and the Court is hearing all the matters like a regular Court day. Thousands of lawyers and litigants continue to throng the Court halls. In furtherance the High Court has issued another circular prohibiting litigants into the Court premises. But the fact remains that the Court continues to work like a normal working day even in face of the international health crisis."

AAB letter to CJI SA Bobde

The letter adds that that even the Supreme Court only deals with a minimal number of cases with few Judges on the Bench, in the light of the present health risk. It was further stated that the lawyers fail to understand why this model is not being implemented in the Karnataka High Court.

The letter also mentions a recent incident when a lawyer claimed in open Court to have come in contact with a coronavirus-infected person (his client).

On these grounds, it has been suggested by the AAB to either completely shut down the High Court as well as the Trial Courts for two weeks or to deal with only urgent cases, so that the courts maybe closed at 12:30 pm everyday (till the summer break).

Recently, it was reported that an advocate, representing the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), who came wearing a face mask, made a self-declaration before the Karnataka High Court that he was under “self-isolation” as he had met a client who later “tested positive” for COVID-19 alias the coronavirus.

[Read the AAB letter here]

AAB letter - shut Courts.pdf
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