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The Karnataka High Court has issued guidelines for e-Filing and Video Conferencing in District Courts across the state of Karnataka. Notably, the e-filing facility shall be made available in addition to the manual filing facility available.
The notification states that the complete Plaint/Appeal, Memorandum/Petition in soft copy (in scanned PDF format) filed through advocate or Party in person may be filed through their email address. Further, email IDs of 30 District Courts have been provided in the notification.
The notification went on to add that in case where the Government is the opposite party, soft copies of the same may be sent to the District Government Pleader/s for civil matters and Public Prosecutor/s for criminal matters (which will be made available in the District Court Website).
Additionally, a brief note explaining the extreme urgency for moving the matter would also have to be attached along with the plaint/petition and the same will be placed before Closure period Judge.
If Closure period Judge accepts the reasons for urgency, the hearing date and time will be informed to the concerned advocate/Party in person as per the Court's directions to the registered email Id of the Advocate/Party in person, the notification states.
On the point of payment of Court Fees and filing of affidavit by party, it has been stated the above is optional for the time being, but will have to be furnished once the functioning of the Court is restored.
On the point of video conferencing, it is stated that on clicking on the Video Meeting link, any device would be able to connect to the Video Call. As the link would be only sent to the advocates representing the parties in the matter, it has been stated that only they are expected to join the call.
It shall be the responsibility of the advocate/party-in-person to ensure that the link is not forwarded to any other advocate/person not connected with the case, the notification states.
On a related note, the closure of the Karnataka High Court and all other Courts in the State was recently extended till April 14, 2020. This has been intimated in a notification issued hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a 21 day complete lockdown yesterday evening in order to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
[Read the guidelines here]