Allahabad High Court
Allahabad High Court
Litigation News

[COVID-19 Lockdown] Allahabad HC issues guidelines to be followed by Lower Courts in Red, Orange and Green zones in Uttar Pradesh

These guidelines will be applicable from May 8 onward till further orders.

Aishwarya Iyer

The Allahabad High Court has issued guidelines regarding functioning of District Courts covered under different zones demarcated depending on the risk of COVID-19 spread by the Government viz. red, orange and green zones during the lockdown. These guidelines shall be applicable from May 8 till further orders.

Green Zone

  • The District Judges and the District authorities will ensure complete sanitization before opening of the Court and daily after its opening.

  • All persons entering the premises would go through Thermal scanning.

  • The District Judge, in consultation with the District Administration would determine the threat level and the status in respect of Zone of the District, on daily basis.

  • Complete compliance of directions given by the Apex Court/ High Court of Judicature at Allahabad and the Central Government & State Government regarding COVID-19.

  • The parent Courts of District Judge, Principal Judge Family Court, Courts dealing with Special Jurisdiction, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Civil Judge(SD), Civil Judge (JD) shall take up the matters as detailed in the notification.

  • If it is found that the number of urgent cases requires the services of other Presiding Officers, only then matters may be assigned to Senior most ADJ/ Magistrate/Civil Judge.

  • The District Judge shall ensure minimal entry of Staff in Court Premises, which shall not be more than 33 % in any case.

  • During this period, the Judicial Officer shall undertake matters pertaining to admissions of new/pending matter (if any), pending/ fresh bail matters, pending and fresh anticipatory bail matters, urgent Injunction matters (pending/fresh), other urgent matters, office work necessary etc.

  • Remand or judicial work in respect of undertrial prisoners is to be done by video conferencing only. Other modes may be adopted if there are technical glitches.

  • The Judicial Service Centre and the its Centralised Filing Counter shall be used for receiving fresh cases/ applications from the Advocates/ Litigants. Defects should be informed on the same day to counsel concerned.

  • The Computer Section has to inform all the counsel approaching the Judicial Service Centre about the eCourts app, so that they can view the cause list through app.

  • Written arguments can also be submitted in the Judicial Service Centre, which shall be sent to the Court concerned by the concerned Computer Section.

  • A dedicated email of the District Court may be created be for using it to receive bail applications or any other urgent applications

  • Only the Court rooms where the counsels will be addressing the Courts should be opened. Only 4 chairs distanced appropriately will be provided for counsel. Masks should be used by everyone. Hand sanitizers will be made available.

  • Social Distancing guidelines would be followed by all those present for the hearing.

  • Parties are not barred from attending the proceedings unless they are suffering from some illness. The Presiding Officer shall have the power to restrict the entry of persons into the Courtroom.

  • Entry of Oath Commissioners, Stamp vendors and typists shall be in limited numbers and their entry shall be regulated by the District Judge.

Orange Zone

  • Ensure complete sanitization of court premises before opening of Courts and Thermal scanning check-up of all persons entering the premises.

  • The District Judge to determine the threat level and the status in respect of Zone of the District, on daily basis.

  • Complete compliance of directions issued by authorities regarding COVID-19.

  • The Parent Courts and Courts dealing with Special Jurisdiction that may take up the matters include the Sessions Judge, Courts dealing with Special Jurisdiction and the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

  • If the number of urgent cases are such that the services of other Presiding Officers are required then matters may be assigned to Senior most ADJ/ Magistrate.

  • District Judge to ensure minimal entry of Staff in Court Premises, which shall not be more than 10%.

  • During this period, the Judicial Officer shall undertake matters pertaining to bail, anticipatory bail and delivery of pending Orders/Judgement (if any), if the arguments are already complete.

  • A dedicated email of District Court may be created for receiving bail/anticipatory bail applications or other urgent applications including written arguments.

  • A dedicated helpline must be in place to assist the advocates and be circulated for any information regarding the mechanism of listing of cases in cause list and time slot etc.

  • Only Advocates whose case is listed on a particular date shall be permitted to enter the Court premises, and information regarding the room number and location shall also be published on the website and in Media.

  • Counsels should leave the premises as soon as their hearings are complete

Red Zone

  • A report has been sought from the District Judges in consultation with the District Administration as to whether such modalities as applicable for the orange Zone can be adopted in their District Courts.

  • The Remand/Other Judicial Work in respect of under trial Prisoner shall be done through video conference only.

Read the Notification here:

Allahabad HC - Mechanism for functioning of District Courts in different zones.pdf
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