Working hours of courts curtailed in 5 Maharashtra districts

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Mumbai, Feb 24 (PTI) In the wake of curbs imposed by the Maharashtra government in Amravati, Yavatmal and some other places due to spike in daily COVID-19 cases, working hours of all subordinate courts in five districts will be restricted till further notice.

As per a notice issued by the Bombay High Court's registrar on Tuesday, the Administrative Judge's Committee has decided that from Wednesday, the judicial working hours in Amravati, Yavatmal, Buldhana, Akola and Washim districts will be restricted to five hours a day.

The courts in these districts will function in two shifts of two-and-a-half hours each -- from 10.30 am to1 pm and 1.30 pm to 4 pm.

Only those lawyers who have a case listed on a given day, parties appearing in person, accused persons, and witnesses summoned by court will be permitted inside the court premises, the notice said.

Lawyers and parties will be granted entry inside the court room only during their turn for hearing, it said.

The notice also directed all court staffers and parties to maintain safety norms and follow the state and Union government's standard operating procedures on COVID-19.

This arrangement will continue until further orders, the notice said.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra reported 6,218 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 21,12,312.

The Akola division in Vidarbha reported the highest number of cases in the state at 1,392, as per official data.

The Akola division, which consists of Amravati, Yavatmal, Buldhana, Washim and Akola districts, has emerged as the new COVID-19 epicentre in the state. PTI AYA GK GK