The Gujarat High Court, on Thursday, issued a notification for an alternate arrangement of benches for the smooth functioning of the court during a virtual hearing from 26th April 2021 to 30th April 2021.
The notice was issued by the Registrar (Judicial) of the Court under the order of the Chief Justice.
According to the order, during the said period the court will function in the virtual mode with two Division Benches and eight Single Benches.
The Division Bench comprising of Justices R.M. Chhaya and V.N. Anjaria will be hearing all civil matters during the period and the other Division Bench comprising Justices Sonia Gokani and Vaibhavi B. Nanavati will be hearing all criminal matters.
The Single-member Benches are also assigned specific matters under the notice.
The notice clarifies that only for extremely urgent matters both e-filing and physical filing will be continued. For ordinary matters, e-filing will be the only available mode of filing.
All the fresh matters filed will be assigned to different benches according to the new arrangement but cases in which the court has previously fixed a particular date for the next hearing will not be heard unless it is brought to the attention of the court that the matter is of extreme urgency.
The case list for each day will be issued only on the previous day.
The notice also points to the cases where successive hearings are to be before the same bench. In such cases, the notice states that considering the present crisis the matter will be heard by the benches according to the new arrangement and such bench should decide the matter as if it has heard the matter previously.
The Gujarat High Court has been proactive in addressing the pandemic situation. On Saturday, the High Court allowed its auditorium to be used as a COVID Care Facility. Earlier in the week the High Court also enquired into the COVID preparedness of the state and asked the government to ensure the availability of hospital beds and lifesaving medicines.