The Patna High Court started physically hearing on an experimental basis from 4th January 2021 to 15th January for the first time during the pandemic. The notice to this effect was passed on 29th December by the Registrar General of the High Court.
The notice clearly states that,
“Due to COVID-19 pandemic, initially a Procedure for e-mentioning, e-filing, listing uploading and hearing of matters through video conferencing was adopted. Thereafter studio-based courts were set up inside the courtrooms providing access to stakeholders who did not have the technological infrastructure to provide continued access to justice for all. Thus, courts were functioning through both modes, i.e., virtual as well as physical.”
Proper Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) would be implemented, and social distancing norms would be followed.
Criminal matters would be heard on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday whereas Civil matters would be heard on Thursday and only 25 cases would be listed before each bench physically.
The bench would have the authority to take cases up as per convenience through virtual meetings.
Lawyers are also permitted to take one clerk and an assisting counsel based on identity cards issued by the High Court and No party or litigant would be allowed to enter the court premises until there is a need for their appearance.