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It is hereby notified for information of all concerned that from Tuesday, the 17th March, 2020 the cause list will be published for only those matters which are urgent in nature and mentioned before the respective Benches for listing.

The doctors working in the medical unit or appropriate personnel shall be there at all entry points i.e. Gates ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘E’ of the Main Building and also at the Centenary and the Sesquicentenary Buildings of the High Court with thermal guns to check the temperature of every entrant, be it Hon’ble Judges, the learned Lawyers, staff or litigants. If someone is found to have a fever, immediate follow- up action shall be taken by the doctors stationed at such points including restricting of entry.

The Registrar General shall write to the State for increase of the strength of doctors for the High Court and to provide thermal guns in adequate numbers. Request for similar measure be made to the State for all District and Sub- Divisional Courts.

The presence of staff in all Courts in the State shall be reduced by at least half and the office shall ensure that the staff work on rotation.

Courts should not insist on the presence of the parties, unless it is unavoidable. Appropriate measures be taken to regulate entry of the litigants and the general public in the Court Complex to avoid crowding.

The President and the Secretary of the three wings of the Bar of the High Court and the President and General Secretary of the respective District Court Bar Associations are requested to issue necessary directions in order to ensure that there is no crowding in the Court complex including the lawyers chambers. The Hon’ble Judges and the Bar would also ensure that interns are not permitted in the Court complex till the present situation persists.

All Bar rooms are requested to be closed except for the purpose of learned lawyers obtaining their belongings therefrom.

The lawyers may advise their clients not to visit the Court unless their presence is directed by the Court or is unavoidable.

Till the present situation persists, no adverse/default orders be passed in matters where parties are found to be absent. This will apply even to matters listed on Monday, the 16th March, 2020.

Instead of physical production of undertrial prisoners (UTPs) from jails, facility of video conferencing be availed of.

Registry for the High Court and the District Judges for the sub-ordinate Court shall ensure that sanitizers are available in all Court Rooms and all Deparatments and also in the respective Court complexes for the visitors as well as the staff. Housekeeping agency/staff be asked to ensure that highest level of hygiene is maintained in the Court complex and disinfectants are sprayed on a regular basis.

All activities in the Judicial Academy be postponed from Monday, the 16th March, 2020 until further orders.

All Hon’ble Judges may leave the Court complex and release their staff as early as possible.

Absence of staff on a particular day because of this advisory, shall be treated as ‘On Duty’.

The situation shall be reviewed on Friday the 20th March, 2020.


Calcutta High Court

[Notification dt. 15-03-2020]

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In view of the Office Memorandum dated 5th of March, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, by way of an advisory cautioning against mass gathering and the World Health Organization having declared Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as global pandemic advising against mass congregation, as also taking note of the decision of the Government of Bihar issued by the General Administration Department through letter No. 3736 dated 13th March, 2020 and on reviewing the present circumstance, the Hon’ble the Chief Justice has been pleased to take emergent measures and held meeting with the Hon’ble Judges of the Court, the Members of the Registry and also held interaction through Video Conferencing with the District Judges. Hon’ble the Chief Justice and the Senior most Hon’ble Judges of this Court have also held meeting with the Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar and the Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Government of Bihar to take stock of the situation and discussed the remedial measures some of which required to be taken at the earliest are as follows:

(i) A team of 10 members from the Registry has been constituted to connect with a Nodal Officer, now designated in each of the District Courts, for purpose of overseeing the sensitization of the officers and staff involved in the Court premises and the sanitization of the Court Complexes and other amenities.

(ii) The Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar and the Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Government of Bihar shall ensure that they will organize awareness camp in the premises of the Patna High Court on 17th April, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. for benefit of the Hon’ble Judges, learned Advocates, members of Registry, Staff and litigants.

After aforesaid discussions and deliberations, the Hon’ble Chief Justice has been pleased to issue the following advisories to the District Courts in the State of Bihar:-

(i) The Presiding Officers of the Court should not insist on the physical presence of the parties unless considered unavoidable.

(ii) All the respective District & Sessions Judges and the Principal Judges, Family Courts, would take appropriate measures to regulate entry of the litigants and the general public in the Court premises in order to ensure less crowding.

(iii) The lawyers may be requested to advise their clients not to visit the Court unless their physical presence is directed by the Court.

(iv) For the present, this decision has been taken to be applicable till 31st March, 2020. Till such date, no adverse/default orders will be passed in the matters where parties/lawyers are found to be absent.

(v) The learned Advocates/parties/witnesses, who may be seeking an adjournment, be accommodated. Only in exceptional circumstances, the Court may refuse to grant an adjournment.

(vi) In criminal matters, the accused may be granted exemption from personal appearance for the time being and subject to further orders.

(vii) Video Conferencing may be put to maximum use for the purpose of recording of evidence and instead of the physical production of under-trial prisoners from jails, facility of Video Conferencing, wherever available, be availed of.

(viii) The District and Sessions Judges in consultation with the Prisons Authorities shall ensure that there should not be any crowding in the lock-ups and in this regard, appropriate measures be taken for sanitizing of the lock-ups and the persons placed there be sensitized.

(ix) The hearing matters may be postponed for the present.

(x) The Medical Dispensaries in the Court complexes be kept ready and fully equipped to tackle any emergent situation. The District Judges in coordination with District Administration should take preventive measures immediately.

(xi) The District & Sessions Judges shall ensure that a sufficient amount of sanitary items i.e. soap, sanitizers, thermal screening thermometers, etc. be procured. If sufficient fund is not available, the Registrar General, Patna High Court be informed immediately.

(xii) Dedicated/Core team to be formed (preferably District Judge be the Nodal Officer) in each district complex for monitoring the remedial steps.

(xiii) No functions, where public gathering is expected, be organized during this period. All efforts be taken to minimize the foot-falls in Court complexes.

(xiv) The Judge Incharge of the Mediation Centre of all the District Courts shall postpone the mediation proceedings for the present.

(xv) Yardstick prescribed for disposal of cases will not be strictly followed till 31st March, 2020.

(xvi) The Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar, has been asked to take measures with regard to Juvenile Justice Board/ Observation Homes/Shelters Homes and all the jail premises of the State of Bihar.


Patna High Court

[Notice dt. 15-03-2020]