District Courts in Karnataka to reopen in a phased manner from September 28, 2020. The Karnataka High Court on September 19, 2020, issued the modified Standard Operating Procedure for the district courts to be followed after the reopening to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
As per the revised Standard Operating Procedure that is starting from September 28, 2020, fifty-five taluka Courts will reopen. All the courts in 13 districts i.e. Devangere , Haveri, Chitradurga Chikkaballapura, Raichur, Bidar ,Ramanagara , Udupi , Gadag , KodaguMadikeri , Koppal , Chamarajanagar, and Yadgir will reopen from October 5, 2020. Whereas the remaining Courts in the district will reopen from October 12, 2020. Highlights of Modified Standard Operating Procedure w.e.f. September 28, 2020
- All the district and the trial court in the State of Karnataka will substantially reopen in the phased manner.
- All the Courtrooms in the Court will be modified accordingly for the purpose of recording of evidence by covering the witness box and accused dock.
- It is allowed to physically record the evidence of a maximum of 5 witnesses in the morning session on every working day.
- The entry of litigant in the court complex will be prohibited only the witness and the accused will be allowed to enter into the court complex upon the production of a negative report of antigen test on the same date.
- The parking of the vehicles of the Advocate will only be allowed at a designated place in the Court complex and entry should only be allowed to those who have self-driven vehicles on the production of photo identity passes which is issued by the Court administration on basis of application received through recognized Bar Association.
- It is also mentioned that in Courtroom not exceeding 20 persons will be present including Advocate and Court staff. And if there are more than 20 people in any Court then the function of the court will be immediately stopped by the Judicial Officers.
- Premises of all Bar association will remain open on all the Court on a working day between 10:30 am to 4.00 pm. However, before opening the premises half of the chair inside the promisor shall be removed to reduce the congestion in the Bar Association Premises.
- For the time being the entry of photocopy machine operators, notary and typist will not be allowed. For the time being the canteen of the Court premises will not be permitted to reopen.
The notification issued by the Registrar General Rajendra Badamik states that "In the case of any emergency situation the Chief Justice will take a decision regarding the permitting closure of Court for sanitization and suspension for physical hearing notwithstanding in this SOP the earlier notification dated August 5, 2020, declaring the closure of all the courts only for the purpose of Section 4 of Limitation Act, 1963 till September 30, 2020, shall continue to operate." [READ OPERATING PROCEDURE]