The Honourable Chief Justice has issued the following order to deal with the present crisis:
Considering the gravity of situation prevailing not only in the State of Gujarat but also in the entire nation, after due consultation with Honourable Members of the Standing Committee, learned Advocate General, learned Public Prosecutor, learned Government Pleader, learned Assistant Solicitor General and the President of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association, it has been decided to take up all extremely urgent matters, both on the civil and criminal side, in continuation of the previous orders issued, to be by Video Conferencing. This will be effective with effect from Monday, the 23rd March, 2020. The matters already fixed by the respective Courts for Monday, 23rd March, 2020 will be taken up by the newly assigned Division Bench and the learned Single Judge in their physical form in their respective Courts. No fresh filing in physical form will be accepted from Monday, 23rd March, 2020. However, the matters which have already been presented in the Registry, and in which mention for urgency is accepted during this crisis period, no soft copy would be required. The arguments thereof, however, will be through video conferencing only. The matters in which mention for being urgent, made before the assigned Benches on Monday, 23rd March, 2020 and accepted for being taken up on the same day, may be in the physical form. The modalities for submitting soft copies of the petition and connectivity by way of Video Conferencing are provided in detail in the attached methodology. This will curtail the movement of judges, lawyers, staff of the High Court as also the staff of the lawyers and the litigants. The Honourable Judges will work from their respective chambers whereas others will be able to work from home or their office.
One Division Bench for all civil & criminal matters and one Single Judge Bench for all civil & criminal matters would be nominated by the Chief Justice for the said purpose. The Benches may change from day to day or remain the same as the Chief Justice may deem fit.
Matters where judgment is to be pronounced, would be notified through SMS & Email to the respective lawyers appearing in the matters and a link of Zoom Cloud Meeting would be sent indicating the time also so that respective lawyers may get connected and hear the pronouncement.
The above measures are being taken only for the period of the crisis presently prevailing. As soon as, normal functioning starts, the above system will cease.
*To read the detailed circular, please click on the link below:
Gujarat High Court
[Circular dt. 23-03-2020]