Taking a step towards the new normal Allahabad High Court on 22nd October, Thursday decided to commence its physical hearing from 2nd November. The Court issued a notification in which it stated that “In addition to videoconferencing, physical hearing of cases shall also be permitted in all the Courts at High Court, Lucknow w.e.f. 02.11.2020. Only those Learned Advocates (irrespective of their age) shall be permitted to enter the Corridors & Court Rooms whose cases are to be taken by the Hon'ble Court w.e.f. 02.11.2020.”
The notification mentioned that both physical hearing and videoconferencing will be done from the given date following all the rules and taking necessary precautions.
Advocates will be permitted to enter and exit from the Court Rooms from the doors situated in front of Chakra on the first floor of the High Court only. No person is permitted to enter the Corridors and the Court Rooms from the doors, corridors, stairs, ramp, escalator, or through the lifts situated near the regular filing counter on the ground floor.
Further guidelines were as follows:
- Any Advocate/in-person desirous of joining Court proceedings of the Court through internet-based Videoconferencing shall have to obtain the consent of the Advocate of the other party/in person for hearing of the case through videoconferencing.
- After the consent has been obtained, an email shall be sent by the Advocate/in-person indicating his/her mobile numbers registered on AOR along with cases details (i.e. Court Number, Serial number, parties names, nature of cases, case number, year), the consent of the Advocate of the other party/in person and his/her Email ID with a request for being provided a Video Conferencing Link to enable them to join the Court proceedings.
- It was also clarified that the Advocates of parties/Government Counsel/in person are not permitted to share the video link with any other individual except with those who are disclosed as representing the party on E-file/petition/application. Not more than two advocates for a party shall be permitted on the video platform of the actual hearing.
- All the Courts may fix a separate time for the hearing of cases through video conferencing.
- In Dussehra vacations, E-filed fresh cases, if any, shall be deemed to have been filed on reopening of the Courts and they shall be processed accordingly.
- Not more than 6 (six) Advocates will be permitted to remain in the Court Room at any given time.
- The Learned Advocates will not be permitted to roam around in the corridors of Hon'ble Court. The Learned Advocates shall leave the corridors and Court Rooms immediately after hearing of their case(s).
- No person shall be allowed to enter the High Court campus without observing all protocols necessary to maintain social and physical distancing.
- All the guidelines issued by the Central Government and the Government of Uttar Pradesh regarding Covid19 must be followed.
In addition to this, other courts also issued notifications for physical hearing like the Rajasthan High Court on 23rd October, 2020 notified that from 2nd November, 2020 it will resume regular functioning of the court and has taken into consideration the suggestions received from the Bar Council of Rajasthan, Rajasthan High Court Advocates Association, Jodhpur, Rajasthan High Court Lawyers' Association, Jodhpur, Rajasthan High, following all the rules and regulations made by Central Government to prevent and control the spread of coronavirus.