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Patna HC to Conduct Court Functions Exclusively Through Virtual Mode Till April 17, 2021

Patna HC to Conduct Court Functions Exclusively Through Virtual Mode Till April 17, 2021
The Patna High Court has decided to conduct complete functioning of the Court "exclusively through virtual mode" from 6th April to 17th April 2021 owing to the recent surge in covid-19 cases in the State. 

The modification came in view of the new guidelines issued by the Government of India and the State Government dated 3rd April 2021 in the wake of recent spike in the covid-19 cases turning out to be positive. 

The notice, issued by the ‘Registrar General of the High Court’, reads thus: 

Please take note that, “In light of new guidelines released by the Government of India and the State Government on 03.04.21, and in light of a recent surge in Corona positive cases, the competent authority has decided that the court's operations will be performed "exclusively through virtual mode" from April 6, 2021 to April 17, 2021”. 

As a consequence, Notice Numbers III (March 21), IV (March 21), and VI (March 21) reported in the cause list dated 05.04.2021 have been put on hold until further notice. The notice also states that entry into the High Court premises is "strictly forbidden" unless allowed before further directions are given. Similar decisions of suspending physical hearings in High Courts and district courts have been taken recently by respective High Courts owing to the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in various States. 

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday( April 5, 2021) postponed its plan to restart physical hearings of cases until April 18 by announcing that all physical hearings in the Union Territory's High Court, district courts, and tribunals would be performed exclusively through virtual mode. 

Similarly, the Bombay High Court changed its SOP to say that criminal cases will be heard in person at the court's main office in Mumbai, while civil cases will be done by video conferencing. The court of the Chief Justice will also run in a mixed format, hearing cases both physically and electronically. In addition, the Madhya Pradesh High Court provided additional SOPs for Saturday's services of the High Court and subordinate courts.

The said SOPs came into effect on Monday (April 5, 2021).


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