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Coronavirus: Bombay High Court restricts functioning to hear urgent matters only due to COVID-19

Shruti Mahajan

The Bombay High Court has issued a circular declaring that the principal Bench of the High Court at Mumbai as well as the other Benches at Nagpur, Aurangabad, and Goa will have restricted functioning from the week commencing March 16 to hear urgent matters only.

The Court had earlier issued circulars with advisories for persons visiting court complexes in Maharashtra, in the wake of the spread of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The notification issued today states that in case of urgent matters, advocates or parties in person may mention the same and if the matter is fiund to be urgent, it will be accordingly heard. In case of other matters, the ad-interim reliefs granted will continue to be in operation till further orders, the Court has said.

The High Court has also appealed to all the advocates and Bar Associations to ensure that the entry of litigants in the Courts is also restricted and the litgants are present in the Court only when necessary.

The advisory issued by the Bombay High Court urges advocates, staff, and litigants to avoid visiting court complexes unless necessary.

Issued as a precautionary measure, the High Court notices published on Friday also advise all persons to follow the preventive steps listed by the Union Ministry of Health in order to prevent further spread of the novel Coronavirus, which was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization last week.

In another circular issued by Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, Justice BP Dharmadhikari, staff at the Bombay High Court's principal bench in Mumbai, as well as other benches at Nagpur, Aurangabad, and Goa, have been exempted from marking biometric attendance.

The staff members have thus been directed to sign in the muster to mark their attendance.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had resolved to have limited and restricted functioning in the wake of the spread of COVID19. The High Court has also asked all the District & Sessions Judges and Principal Judges, Family Court to take appropriate measures to regulate entry of litigants and general public in the court complex so as to avoid overcrowding.

The Gujarat High Court registered a suo motu Public Interest Litigation and issued directions which include providing temperature guns at the security check in the Court premises, taking necessary steps in case any person is found to be having temperature above normal, and sanitizing the Court building and premises on a daily basis.

The Supreme Court of India will also remain open only for the purpose of hearing urgent matters, and will have limited and restricted functioning.

Read Circulars issued by Bombay High Court:

Bombay High Court notification on restricted functioning.pdf
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Bombay High Court Circular of CoronaVirus 1.pdf
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Bombay High Court Circular of CoronaVirus 2.pdf
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