The Karnataka High Court Chief Justice, Abhay Shreeniwas Oka has requested all the members of the Bar to consider filing only those cases where there is a "real genuine urgency" as the High Court is currently working with only 30%-40% of its actual capacity of staff.
The appeal letter by Chief Justice Oka in this regard informs,
"As on today, 39 staff members working on the establishment of the High Courtof Karnataka, at Bengaluru have been tested positive for COVID-19. Test results of about 25 employees are awaited. About 45 employees have been quarantined. In fact, from yesterday, 6 or 7 staff members of the computer team including the Registrar (Computers) and the Central Project coordinator were required to undergo quarantine."
Adding on, Chief Justice Oka stated that though existing staff members are under a lot of stress given the circumstances, nonetheless, the Court has resumed physical filing and physical hearing of matters in certain categories of cases.
In the light of the above challenges, it may not be possible to list a large number of cases for preliminary hearing, Chief Justice Oka states.
Further, the letter apprises that the situation is no better in district courts as well. At present, it is stated that 7 judicial officers have been tested COVID-19 positive and 74 of them have gone into quarantine. This apart, a number of staff members have been tested positive and gone into quarantine.
Therefore, Chief Justice Oka has requested Advocates to file only genuinely urgent matters prior to seeking appointments in district Courts as well.
On a concluding note, Chief Justice Oka has requested all the members of the Bar to take all possible precautions and remain safe and that they ensure the health and safety of the people around them.
[Read letter here]