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As the third leg of the nation-wide lockdown begins, the officials with the rank of Deputy Registrar and above of the Supreme Court Registry have been directed to report for work from today, Monday, May 4.
In an office order published on Sunday, May 3 (yesterday), all the officials of the Supreme Court's Registry with the rank of Deputy Registrar and above or their equivalents were directed to begin reporting for work with effect from Monday, May 4. The office order says,
"In partial modification of Orders referred above, Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India has been pleased to direct that all the officers in the ranks of Deputy Registrar and above, or their equivalent, in the Registry shall attend office w.e.f. Monday, 04 May 2020."
All of the other staff shall continue to work from home in accordance with the previous orders and the concerned Registrars may, as and when required, direct certain subordinate staff to report for work in relation to urgent matters.
This order comes just days after the Supreme Court of India also fell prey to the COVID-19 contagion with one Court employee testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Consequently, several other individuals, including the employee's family members and 36 security personnel at the top Court were placed under home quarantine since they had come in contact with the infected employee.
The Supreme Court has been carrying out restricted functioning amid the pandemic, with the premises of the Apex Court being shut barring the skeletal staff required for functions such as filing of cases and such.
The restrictions on physical entry in the Court premises were put in place around the time the first phased of the nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of the contagion was announced in March.
However, the restrictions have now come to be relaxed with Sunday's office order, even as the Centre decided to extend the nation-wide lockdown for the second time, given the sharp and continued rise in the number of coronavirus infections and casualties in the country.
All the same, the Court has advised all the staff members and officials to observe all the guidelines issued by the Centre for the containment of spread of COVID-19, such as practising social distancing, thermal screening etc.