For effective control and containment over Spread of corona Virus, in supersession of all previous directions, following directions are issued for Subordinate Courts/Special Courts/ tribunals which shall remain in force till 03.05.2020 and/or till further orders:-
1. Only extremely urgent matters be taken up.
i. Subordinate courts of Rajasthan shall take up only the following extremely urgent matters till 03.05.2020:-
(a) Bail Applications, Appeals under Special Acts regarding bails.
(b) Remand matters
(c) Injunction/stay Applications,
(d) Supurdagi Applications.
(e)Statements under Section 164 Cr.P.C. including dying declarations.
(f) Any other extremely urgent matter to be decided by the concerned Presiding Officer deputed by the District Judge for hearing urgent matters.
(g) All other matters shall be adjourned suitably subject to further directions.
ii. The extremely urgent matters shall be taken up through video conference by Video/whatsapp/skype or voice call or any other convenient mode. For this purpose, All-in-one Computer available in each Court and the smart phones with official SIM available in district courts for electronic service of processes (NSTEP) may be used.
iii. In matters having no urgency, common dates shall be given and notice thereof be published on official web site of each judgeship so that the lawyers and litigants would get the next dates without coming to the court. Efforts be also made to update the dates in CIS as far as possible.
iv. As per directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court Vide order dated 23.03.2020 in Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No. 3/2020 In Re: Cognizance for Extension of Limitation, prescribed limitation for filing of petitions/applications/suits/appeals and other proceedings shall stand extended w.e.f. 15‘“ March 2020 til further orders by Hon’ble Supreme Court.
v. Filing of only fresh urgent cases/applications may be made on official email address notified by the concerned District Judge with the condition to present the hard—copy file before jurisdictional court soon after the regular work resumes. The filing through email shall be entertained only when mobile number which is having whatsapp or the skype account address and email address are mentioned. The court deputed for urgent work will forward all the papers to the jurisdictional court after the regular work resumes. A matter filed through email shall be treated to be filed only when it is actually taken up by the court.
vi. The District Judges are authorized to depute bare essential judicial officers on rotational basis at each court complex for hearing of urgent matters. Only those bare minimum Judicial Officers are required to come to court who have been deputed by the concerned District Judge for urgent work. Remaining judicial officers would not be required to attend the office but shall remain available at home during office timings.
vii. The District Judges are empowered to depute the officers of District Judge cadre for urgent work of Family Courts/Special Courts/Tribunals in addition to other urgent work assigned to them.
viii. Only bare essential court staff required to manage the above urgent work shall be called on rotational basis. Sitting arrangement of the staff shall be in such a manner so as to maintain required physical distance between them. Remaining staff would not be required to attend the office but shall remain available at home during office timings.
ix. The Presiding Officers deputed for urgent work shall hold court only between 02.00 pm to 04.00pm.
x. The State Government has imposed ban on the private vehicles, however judicial officers and court staff have been allowed to use their private vehicles for attending the office, therefore they are directed to carry official identity card with them.
2. Steps to limit the gatherings in court rooms and court premises
i. Subordinate courts shall not insist on the presence of the parties unless it is very essential and unavoidable.
ii. The requests for personal exemption of accused / complainant / witnesses / parties shall be accordingly considered and adverse orders be avoided for their absence.
iii. Only litigants whose presence is required by the court shall be permitted to attend the court with his lawyer. Litigants who are appearing in person shall be permitted entry.
iv. The processes for service of the witnesses issued for the dates upto 03.05.2020 shall be returned unserved to the concerned court. Concerned police officials shall be requested accordingly.
v. The directions issued for extension of remand vide this office letter no. Gen/XV/43/2020/2600 dated 29.03.2020 shall remain in force till 03.05.2020.
vi. Concerned Bar Associations shall be requested to make the advocates aware to advise and persuade the litigants not to Visit the court premises unless it is very essential and unavoidable.
vii. Entry of Law Students and Interns shall remain prohibited in court premises.
viii.To avoid public gatherings and crowding, no function or other event of mass gathering shall be permitted in the court premises.
ix. Mediation proceedings shall be held only in urgent matters.
3. Other Preventive measures
i. Hand sanitizers shall be provided in all court rooms and offices for use of Advocates, litigants and court staff.
ii. Court staff who deal with files and come in frequent contact with advocates, litigants and Visitors shall be provided with masks and gloves for regular use during working hours.
iii. The advocates are permitted to use masks in courts.
iv. The advocates are exempted to wear coats till 03.05.2020.
v. In all the court rooms and offices, toilets, door handles, chairs, tables, gates, railings and other things shall be disinfected regularly at least twice a day by mopping through 1% hypochlorite and Benzoic Acid.
vi. Court staff suffering from cold/cough or sneezing are advised to take leave and follow the medical advise.
vii. All canteens and shops selling food articles in the court premises shall remain closed till 03.05.2020. However, drinking water arrangements shall be duly ensured. One photocopy shop in each court complex shall be kept open on every working day on rotational basis to be decided by concerned District Judge at District Hq. and Senior most judicial officer on outlying Hqs. All preventive measures shall be strictly observed while maintaining social distancing on these shops.
viii.Director General of Police shall be requested to depute adequate number of police personnel at the entry gates of all court complexes to regulate the entry of visitors in consultation with District Judge/Presiding officer concerned till 03.05.2020.
ix. The State Government has appointed District Collectors as Nodal Officers in each District for effective control over spread of Corona Virus. In co-ordination with these Nodal Officers, para medical personnel be deployed in all the court complexes for primary medical Check up of the entrants of court premises so that appropriate steps for suspected infectants may be timely taken up.
x. The Advocates having Chambers in Subordinate courts are advised against attending their chambers as they would require to be Closed due to lack of Cleaning and conservancy services.
A committee of one Judicial Officer, Bar President and one senior court staff be constituted for every court complex to supervise and monitor the situation on daily basis, to ensure compliance of these directions and to take appropriate remedial steps.
5. All concerned shall ensure the preventive and remedial measures as instructed or advised from time to time by the Central/State Governments and other competent authorities.
Rajasthan high Court
[Circular dt. 14-04-2020]