No public entry in J&K High Court amid alarming rise in COVID-19

Sushree Mohanty

Emphasizing over the increased Corona virus cases, Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice Pankaj Mithal has requested for strict compliance of its order which prohibits the entry of any public or litigants into the court surrounding.

“In continuation of the said request, and so as to arrange for the recording of proof, the presence of witnesses and accused party was likewise allowed vide the High Court Order No. 875/RG dated 10.02.2021 subject to the some conditions laid down in the SOPs relating to control of COVID-19 spread,” the Chief Justice stated in the request.

Further, the Chief Justice said that the court has observed that the rules/headings are not being followed strictly and are resulting in significant expansion in footfall in the Court premises.

“Such actions are increasing the chance for the spread of COVID-19 disease especially when such cases are increasing at an alarming rate”, he added.

Thus, taking into account the “ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases,” the Chief Justice emphasized on the “heading” while at the same time asking the Registrars Judicial of the two wings of the High Court and the managing officials of all Courts in the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to carefully execute the bearing.

 The physical hearing of the matter was resumed in the Courts in the midst of a set of rules to be followed.

The previous order had allowed the presence of any public or litigant into the court surrounding on the assumption that he has reasonable grounds to contend his case physically.

Additionally, the litigant had to send a permission application two days before the scheduled date of proceeding, through email to the Registrar Presiding Officer of the Court uncovering such convincing reasons and request for allowing him the opportunity to do so.

The request further stated that when any such application is made by the litigant, the Registrar Presiding Officer must consider his plea and when satisfied by the reasons, he should allow him to appear personally and contend his case.

The communication of acceptance of the request shall be made through a return email.

“A duplicate of such request will likewise be sent by the Registrar Judicial Presiding, Security at the entrance of the Court for fundamental activity”, the request added.

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