Bombay High Court to function in Hybrid mode owing to rise in Covid cases

Bombay High Court Law Insider

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: January 03, 2022 at 17:17 IST

The Bombay High Court decided to adopt a hybrid mode of functioning from January 4, 2022. This decision was taken due to the rise of Covid-19 and Omicron cases in Maharashtra; so as to avoid crowding in Courts by Lawyers and Litigants.

The decision was taken in the meeting chaired by Justice Amjad Sayed; where representatives of Bar Associations from Maharashtra and from the civic body were also present. The decision is applicable until January 7 only to the Principal Seat of Court, Mumbai and will be reviewed by the Court Administration.

The SOP stated that only the Advocate on record, Senior Counsel, and a Registered Clerk would be allowed to enter the Court. Besides them, Litigants would be allowed to enter if they lack legal assistance mentioned the SOP stating, “The entry of the Litigants in the Court premises is prohibited, unless directed by the Honourable Court.”

Praecipes shall be filed through an e-mail in case of circulation of matters being sought. The SOP also mentioned that a lodging number for the Case shall be procured by the Advocate or the party in person from the Filing department in the case of new matters and then the Praecipes shall be submitted. The Praecipes shall also be served on the other side in advance. Before the proposed listing of the matter, 48 hours shall be given.

SOP also stated, “Parties-in-person, Advocates, their Clerks and Peons, the members of the Media and Court staff are requested to exercise extreme caution. In the event of any breach of the above terms, Court administration would be forced to discontinue the Hybrid System and revert to Virtual Mode of Hearing.”

On January 2, 2022; more than 8000 Covid Cases were reported in Mumbai and 50 Omicron Cases were reported in Maharashtra. As per a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued on December 31, 2021; it is not permitted to mention matters for circulation except in extremely urgent situations.

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