Amid coronavirus fears, Calcutta High Court to only hear urgent matters

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Mar 15 (ANI): Registrar General of Calcutta High Court on Sunday issued a notification announcing that the court will only hear urgent matters and that normal functioning of the court will be affected till March 20 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"It is hereby notified for information of all concerned that from Tuesday, (March 17, 2020) the cause list will be published for only those matters which are urgent in nature and mentioned before the respective benches for listing," the notification issued on Sunday said.

The High Court also said that the presence of staff in all courts in the state should be reduced by at least half and the office shall ensure that the staff works on rotation.

"The doctors working in the medical unit or appropriate personnel shall be there at all entry points of the main building and also at the centenary and the sesquicentenary building of the High Court with thermal guns to check the temperature of every entrant, be it Judges, the learned Lawyers, staff or litigants," the notification said.

"If someone is found to have a fever, immediately follow-up action shall be taken by the doctors stationed at such points including restricting of entry," it added.

The notification also told the subordinate courts not to insist on the presence of parties in cases, unless it is unavoidable and said that appropriate measures should be taken to regulate the entry of the litigants and the general public in the court complex to avoid crowding.

"Till the present situation persists, no adverse/default orders be passed in matters where parties are found to be absent. This will apply even to matters listed on Monday. Instead of the physical productions of undertrials prisoners from jails, facilities of video conferencing be availed of," it said.

The registrar also directed to postpone the judicial academy from Monday until further orders and ensure proper sanitation in courtrooms and court complexes. (ANI)