Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court
Litigation News

Office objections (with exceptions) stand waived amid COVID-19, difficult to restore physical functioning in near future: Karnataka HC

The Bench noted that though the functioning of the Court improved in June-July, currently around 7,000 cases are yet to be posted, as office objections have not been rectified.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court recently held that in all cases filed from March 21 till August 31, all office objections shall stand waived owing to the large number of pending cases yet to be posted before the Bench.

The order passed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi reads,

"Therefore, the only direction which can be issued for the benefit of the litigants and the members of the Bar in exercise of the powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is to dispense with all the objections except few material objections so that the cases where the material objections have not been raised, can be made ready for posting before the Court and a large number of advocates are not forced to visit the High Court complexes for rectification of the office objections."

Karnataka High Court

However, the objections which cannot be waived are listed as under:

  • Objections regarding non-payment of court fee or insufficient payment of court fee;

  • Objection regarding bar of limitation;

  • Objection regarding maintainability of the proceedings;

  • Objection regarding failure to furnish second set of papers (only in case of Division Bench matters);

  • Objections regarding failure to annex copies of the impugned judgments/orders/impugned notifications/impugned endorsements/ impugned communications

  • Objections regarding the non-compliance of Rule 3A of Chapter 10 of the said Rules of 1959; and

  • Objections regarding non-compliance with the circular dated 20th July 1998 in the criminal petitions about failure to serve the petitions in advance to the offices of the State Public Prosecutor.

The Bench also noted that though the functioning of the Court improved in June-July, currently around 7,000 cases are yet to be posted, as office objections have not been rectified. This was one of the main reasons that prompted the Court to waive off the objections rule.

Owing to the large number of positive cases of COVID-19, rectification of the office objections cannot be permitted in more than 50 to 60 cases per day, the Court said. The order reads,

"Therefore, rectification of objections in these cases will require more than 100 working days. The reason for restricting the activity to few cases is that the members of the Bar cannot be allowed to enter the office premises for rectification of office objections as it may lead to congregation and the breach of rules of social distancing."

While passing its order, the Court also referred to various orders passed by the Supreme Court in relation to functioning of the courts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the April 6 order directing High Court to take all measures to reduce the need for the physical presence in court premises.

The Bench also noted that physical hearings are not likely to start anytime soon, given the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

"Considering the fact that in the State of Karnataka, the positive cases of COVID – 19 are multiplying very fast, it will be very difficult to restore the normal functioning of the Courts in the near future."

[Read order here]

office objections - Karnataka HC.pdf
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news