COVID-19 effect: Only virtual hearings, says Madras HC

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Chennai, Apr 15 (PTI) Amid a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, especially here, hearing of cases in the Madras High Court would be through video-conferencing only until further orders, its Registrar-General announced on Thursday.

'Even though the situation in Tamil Nadu may be better than other places in the country, so as to ensure that immediate preventive measures are taken to arrest the further spread of the pandemic, the state government has requested the High Court of Madras to take appropriate immediate measures so that the footfall in the court buildings is reduced considerably,' a release from the office of the Registrar General said.

The decision follows an observation from the Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee that the second wave of the virus was spreading fast and his subsequent discussions with Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan today.

The hearing of cases in the High Court shall be only on virtual mode to the extent possible, except the appearance of the government lawyers in respect of bail and other urgent motions, it said.

All lawyers chambers shall remain closed from April 17.

The libraries in all the Bar Associations shall also remain closed until further orders.

The above restrictions will apply to the Madurai Bench as well, until further orders, the release said.

This arrangement will continue till April 23 and the situation will be reviewed on April 22, the release added. PTI CORR SA ROH ROH