Saket Bar Association gives suggestions on courts' functioning post lockdown

New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) The Saket District Court Bar Association has suggested giving priority to cases in which the accused are in judicial custody and adjourning for three months those criminal matters where they are on bail, after the lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus is withdrawn.

The suggestions were given by the bar association in a letter written to District Judge Poonam A Bamba in compliance with the directions of the Delhi High Court.

The Delhi High Court has constituted a committee, headed by Justice Hima Kohli, to create a 'graded action plan' for dealing with the challenges to be faced by it and the trial courts after the lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus is withdrawn.

It had asked the district judges here to take inputs from the respective bar associations and send the suggestions to the committee.

In the letter, advocate Karnail Singh, President of the Saket Bar Association, suggested giving priority to those civil cases in which some urgent application is pending or evidence is to be recorded.

Advocate Dhir Singh Kasana, secretary of the bar association, said in the letter that abundant precautions should be taken in the current health crisis so that work gets started without affecting the safety of each other.

The association has suggested asking DCP Traffic to not refer traffic challan cases for sometime as it will reduce the crowd.

Presiding Officers should have liberal approach in granting bails keeping in view the pandemic situation and a request be made to the Delhi High Court to extend till mid-July the interim orders of cases which will expire after May 3, the letter suggested.

“Maintain social distancing norms as has been widely already published. Wear masks and gloves. Sanitizers tunnel/chamber be installed at any convenient place. Keep sanitizers everywhere in the entry point with guards, then at the main entry gate, in toilets and even in courtrooms,” it said.

The association further suggested that litigants be permitted through passes in order to have restricted entry in the court premises and only the lawyer and the litigant whose case is being heard be permitted inside the courtroom.

It suggested restricting the entry of the interns completely till situation normalises.

“Adjourn the criminal matters in which the accused is on bail preferably after three to four months. Give priority in those cases only in which the accused is in judicial custody. Give priority to those civil cases in which some urgent application is pending or evidence is to be recorded. The court should entertain the mentioning in those cases where both the parties are seeking adjournments and give a date so that there is no crowd in the court,” it suggested.

On social distancing norms, it said: “Make circles from the main entry of litigants till gate number 3 so that the litigants are in queue. Sitting in canteens of lawyer block be stopped; only take away be permitted. Lawyers/members be requested by us (executives of Saket Bar) not to call any litigants in which there is no urgency. The norms of social distancing wearing of masks be maintained in lawyers block as well and sanitizers be kept on all entry and exit gates.

Following the lockdown, the functioning of the high court and trial courts have been suspended till May 3 and matters of extreme urgency or urgent nature are being heard through video conferencing. PTI URD UK SA