High Court of Chhattisgarh has made fresh arrangements in respect of functioning of the High Court and Subordinate Courts in view of the alarming and mounting number of Covid-19 cases in the state, effective from April 7, 2021.
According to new arrangements, judicial proceedings of the High Court shall be conducted only through video conferencing from April 7, 2021. However, the fresh arrangements is effective from April 6 in case of Subordinate Courts such as District and Sessions Judge/Principal Judge/Judge of the Family Court/Judge Commercial Court/Special Judge (SC/ST), Member Judge (Industrial Court, Judge (Labour Court) etc.
There shall be as many as Benches as directed by the Chief Justice of the High Court as per requirement under the Roster and fresh filing will continue through the filing counters, however, soft copy of the petition/memo of appeal etc. shall have to be supplied alongwith the physical filing. Number of cases to be listed before a particular Bench shall be decided by the concerned Bench and the mentoring slip for urgent listing of the cases shall be submitted before the Registrar (judicial), who shall obtain orders for listing from the concerned Bench. In order to avoid over-crowding, Advocates have been requested to enter Higher Court premises only if they have to files cases or their cases are listed in any of the courts. The number of staff shall be minimum as per the requirement of the Sections which shall be decided by the Administrative Head of concerned section.
Similarly, filing of fresh cases shall continue in Durg, Raipur and Bilaspur, two courts of higher judicial service (HJS) level and four courts of lower judicial service (LJS) level which are allowed to function on rotational basis.
In stations having three or less than three courts, all the courts shall function. In other stations, 50 per cent of HJS Courts and 50 per cent LJS courts are allowed to function on rotational basis. These courts shall function only during the first half of the workings hours meaning thereby that the court shall function only from 11 am to 2 pm, excluding bail and remand matters, for which court shall function during full working hours.
The cases shall be taken up for hearing during the above restricted functioning of the court are Remand matters, Bail matters, Supardanama matters, Appeal and Revision (both civil and criminal), matter relating to under trial prisoners, cases pending for more than five years (both civil and criminal), motor accident claim cases, matters relating to payment of amount deposited in respect of motor accident claim cases, matters under Section 125 of the CrPC, matters directed to be disposed of within the time limit by the Supreme Court or the High Court (both civil and criminal), other extreme urgent nature of civil and criminal matters, which are found to be heard on urgent basis by the court and trial of the cases concerning sexual assault against women and children.
The number of cases to be taken up by each court shall be so decided, which would ensure less congestion in the court rooms while maintaining social and individual distancing. Courts should ensure everyone entering the court premises strictly adheres to covid protocols.