The World Health Organization has declared the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) as pandemic. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has issued a Memorandum cautioning the general public to stay away from mass gatherings to curtail spread of the said disease. To avoid such mass gatherings, the State Government has also taken a decision to close down the shopping malls, schools, theaters, colleges, universities, anganavadis and tourist places.
Having regard to the safety of all the litigants, lawyers, visitors to the Court premises and Court staff, and with a view to assist the efforts made by both the Central and the State Governments to prevent spread of said COVID-19, Hon’ble the Chief Justice has issued the following directions which will operate till further orders:
i) The High Court of Karnataka in its principal seat at Bengaluru and Benches at Dharwad and Kalaburagi will take up only urgent matters;
ii) Cause lists will be displayed as usual and the Courts will hold sitting at 10.30 a.m. Only those matters on the causelist, which are stated to be urgent by the members of the Bar or parties-in-person will be taken up at the discretion of the Court. The other matters will be taken up provided, all the contesting parties on both the sides consent for taking up the matters. In respect of the remaining matters on the cause list, dates will be assigned as per the discretion of the concerned Courts;
iii) The enclosed general advisory should be given wide publicity by displaying it at prominent places in the Court premises and by circulating it to the members of the Bar as well as staff;
iv) The members of the Bar as well as staff should be advised to strictly follow the said advisory by taking all precautions as mentioned therein;
v) The members of the staff who are showing the symptoms, as disclosed in the enclosed advisory should immediately consult Government Health Department officials and in emergent cases, contact Arogya Sahayavani at Phone No – 104;
vi) From Tuesday 17th March, 2020, the visitors to the High Court (except the members of the Bar) will be subjected to thermal screening by the officials of the Health Department of the State Government. The members of the staff will be subjected to thermal screening in High Court Offices.
vii) Guidelines regarding use of masks are appended along with this memorandum. All concerned are requested to follow the same.
Karnataka High Court
[Notice dt. 15-03-2020]