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The High Court has issued certain measures that have to be followed by the subordinate courts in the State as well.
The Allahabad High Court has, after reviewing the advisory issued by the Government of India and in view of the opinion of public health experts, issued notifications for taking up precautionary measures against the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The measures have been taken up considering the safety and welfare of all stakeholders including visitors, litigants, lawyers, court staff, security, maintenance and support staff, student interns and media professionals. The directions have to followed by all the subordinate courts as well.
Inter alia, it is advised that public gatherings in the High Court campuses at Allahabad and Lucknow are avoided. Lawyers have been asked to discourage litigants from attending Court.
Further, only urgent matters will be taken up by the Court and the advocates alone have been advised to appear for the hearing. It is added that the absence of counsel and parties appearing-in-person would not entail any adverse orders.
Mediation proceedings are also to be held only in urgent cases, states the notification.
It further been notified that entry to employees, advocates and clerks will only be granted on them possessing valid gate passes, which would be issued by the Gate Pass Section. Entry itself will be confined to three gates. Moreover it is specified that entry from Gate No 3-A will not be allowed on showing an Aadhar Card.
Additionally, it has been stated that Courts should not insist on the personal appearance of parties. In cases where such appearance has already been fixed, the same would be deferred.
The Advocates' Canteen and Bar Association meeting halls have been ordered to remain closed while ensuring their sanitising on a regular basis. No vendor will be allowed to bring any food or beverage into the premises until further orders, it has been ordered.
It has further been added that "handshake greetings may be avoided."
While requesting the Chief Medical Officer to ensure thermal scanning at three gates that would be earmarked for entry, the State government has also been asked to establish a Laboratory at Allahabad to conduct pathological tests for the virus.
The members of the Registry and other employees have been directed to intimate the High Court directly if they show any signs of the virus and furnish required information. Failure to do the same would attract Disciplinary Proceedings, it has been warned.
The Judges have been requested to carry their personal belongings themselves and any staff attached to the Judges have to be scanned on a daily basis.
While stating that all precautionary measures advised by the Government are to be strictly adhered to , it is also requested that people co-operate with the instructions of the staff-on-duty.
[Read the Notifications here]