In view of the outbreak of Coronavirus (2019-Ncov), Hon’ble the Acting Chief Justice has been pleased to issue the following instructions to the District and Sessions Courts and Subordinate Courts at Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur and Ahmednagar.
As per the directives Courts should not insist on the presence of the parties unless it is unavoidable. All the District and Sessions Judges and Principal Judges, would take appropriate measures to regulate entry of the litigants and the general public in the Court Complex to avoid crowding.
All the possible preventive and remedial measures be taken to combat the impending threat of COVID-19.
The lawyers are requested to advice their clients not to visit the Court unless their presence is directed by the Court or is unavoidable.
Till the present situation persists, no adverse/default orders be passed in matters where parties are found to be absent. In criminal matters, the request for exemption from personal appearance of the accused be considered favourably.
It is also being mentioned that Instead of physical production of Under Trial Prisoners (UTPs) from jails, facility of video conferencing be availed of.
Unnecessary crowding in the Lock up be curtailed and appropriate steps in this regard has to be taken by all the District and Sessions Judges in consultation with the prison authorities. The court has also requested that in final argument matters, as far as possible, written submissions be called upon to be submitted in Court and the time for oral arguments be reduced to the extent possible.
The principal judges have to be ensure that sanitizers have been made available in the court complexes for the visitors as well as the staff. Housekeeping agency/staff be asked to ensure that highest level of hygiene is maintained in the Court complex and disinfectants are sprayed on a regular basis.
The President and General Secretary of the respective District Court Bar Associations may issue necessary directions in order to ensure that there is no crowding in the Court complex including the lawyers chambers. Bar would also ensure that interns are not permitted in the Court complex till the present situation persists.