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Joining a growing list of Indian Courts in this regard, the High Courts of Patna and Gauhati have notified various precautionary measures that would be put in place from this week to guard against the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Both Courts have intimated that they would only take up urgent matters starting from Monday, March 16.
The notice issued in this regard by the Patna High Court further specifies:
All matters, except Bail matters (regular/anticipatory), listed in the cause list dated 16th March, 2020, shall stand over for 6th April, 2020.
Only urgent matters, by order of the Motion Bench, will be listed before the respective Benches.
The number of bail matters (regular/anticipatory) listed before the respective Benches in the cause list dated 16th March, 2020 shall be restricted to first 25 cases only.
All matters in which there is an earlier judicial order for listing in between 17th March, 2020 to 31st March, 2020 shall now be listed on 4th of April, 2020 before appropriate Benches.
It is further notified for information of all concerned that from Tuesday, the 17th March, 2020, the cause list will be published only for Regular bail matters and those matters which are urgent.
Until March 31, all urgent matters shall be orally mentioned before the first Bench (Division Bench) at 10:30 A.M.
Apart from intimating that the functioning of the Court has been restricted to urgent matters only till further orders, additional safeguards put in place at the Gauhati High Court include restriction of entry points to the Court.
Further, all persons entering the Court are to be subjected to medical screening before entry. No persons except the advocates and parties appearing persons who want to argue are permitted in the court room.
Notably, the entry of foreign nationals in courts and offices have been strictly restricted till further orders.