The benches in the Principal Seat in Bombay, as well as those in Nagpur, Aurangabad, and the High Court of Bombay in Goa, will resume their usual duties from Monday (December 6).
“The practice of mentioning the matter for circulation by praecipes through email is discontinued. The Advocates and parties in person may mention their matters for circulation, production etc physically before the concerned benches. The Advocates and parties-in person should follow strictly the instructions in the Standard Operating Procedure for physical hearing,” stated a notice issued by S B Bhansali, Prothonotary and Senior Master, High Court, OS, Bombay; and V R Kachare, Registrar ( Judicial-I), High Court, AS, Bombay.
As per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for resumption of physical hearing from Monday, the court working hours shall be from 10.30 am to 1.30 pm, and from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm. The Advocates and parties in-person shall maintain social distancing while mentioning the matter for circulation/production in the court rooms.
To observe strict norms of social distancing entry into the court room for the purpose of attending physical hearings shall stand restricted to ‘One Advocate per party’ whose Vakalatnama is on record or who has been duly authorised and whose case is listed for hearing on Board of court concerned.
Senior Counsel/ongoing counsel engaged by any such Advocate, registered clerk only for limited purpose of delivering heavy and bulky case files of such Advocates at the designated point, Advocate clerk holding valid I-Card will be allowed to enter the High Court premise; party-in person, where such party is pursuing the case without any legal assistance; entry in the court room shall be permitted to those Advocates/party-in-person whose matter is called out for hearing and also for the Advocates whose matter is immediate next subject to availability of space will be allowed entry into the court room.
Rest of the Advocates may wait outside the court room/Bar Room while maintaining social distancing norms. Display Boards shall be functional for their information and convenience, and strict adherence to social distancing norms inside the court room shall be followed by all concerned. Advocates should discourage their clients from attending courts unless their presence is absolutely required, state the SOP.
The mandatory norms to be followed by all concerned who are permitted to enter the court premises/court room include wearing of mask at all times, even during arguments in courts. The lawyers appearing in the court will be required to appear in the usual court attire. They must adhere to all the directions/guidelines/SOPs/ Advisories issued by the Central and State Governments in respect of COVID-19 protocol, state the SOP.