High Court of Jammu & Kashmir
High Court of Jammu & Kashmir

Coronavirus Lockdown: Jammu and Kashmir HC, subordinate courts to hear only urgent matters through video conferencing/video call

The High Court has issued various directions for the functioning of the courts till March 31, keeping in mind the government orders for a lock down to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

Aishwarya Iyer

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has issued directions to restrict the functioning of the High Court and subordinate courts in view of the suspension of public transport and other restrictions imposed by the government to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

While intimating that the cause list for matters listed up to March 31 will be provided in advance, the High Court has issued guidelines dealing with hearings for urgent matters through video conferencing or remotely through video calls, a prohibition on filing ordinary matters, directions for restricted work times for staff members etc.

Urgent matters will be taken up through video conferencing or video calls in cases of remote hearing. Advocates are to provide details for the of such urgent matters on the previous day to the Registrar (Judicial), including the urgency involved.

More details regarding the manner of mentioning and listing has been laid out in the notification. The Registrar (Judicial) of both wings of the High Court have been tasked with ensuring the technical support to implement this system of listing and hearing.

A prohibition has been imposed on the filing of ordinary matters. Moreover, the limitation period of such cases, which may otherwise expire during this time, shall be deemed as expiring on the date of resumption of ordinary case filings by further orders.

Inter alia, instructions have also been issued to ensure that the court staff works on rotation basis and that officials remain available by telephonic and electronic means of communication at all times.

Similar directions have also been issued with regard to taking up cases by the subordinate courts. Further, it has been notified that interim bail orders in criminal cases and injunctions granted in civil cases would stand extended till next date of hearing is given.

The High Court has further emphasized on the implementation of general directions, which have been issued earlier with respect to sanitisation of court complex and judicial academy, availability of sanitizers at the court, thermal scanning at entry gates, closure of bar rooms and canteens etc.

[Read the Circular here]

Jammu and Kashmir HC Circular dated March 23.pdf.pdf
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