Home >News >India >Delhi COVID surge: HC, district courts to hold virtual hearings till April 23

In view of the "alarming" rise in COVID-19 cases in the national capital, the Delhi High Court on Thursday decided that from April 9 to April 23 it will take up matters "through virtual mode only".

An office order issued by Registrar General of the Delhi High Court, Manoj Jain, said that even all the courts of the Joint Registrars (judicial) shall also hold proceedings via virtual mode during this period.

The order said that the decision was taken by the Full Court of the High Court.

It also said that no adverse order would be passed by the courts of Joint Registrars (judicial) in case of non-appearance of parties and/or their counsel and the matter which are fixed for recording of evidence before the said courts shall be adjourned.

Similar directions were also issued by the Full Court in respect of the functioning of the subordinate courts.

 The office order said that the District Courts have been directed to hold proceedings via virtual mode only from April 9 to April 24 and the video conferencing links be made available on the website/causelist.

"It has been further directed that the Principal District and Sessions Judges in consultation with the DG (Prisons) shall make necessary arrangements for extension of remand of Undertrial prisoners (UTPs).

"Wherever required, during the trial, UTPs may be produced through video-conferencing. No adverse orders shall be passed by the District Courts in Delhi in case of non-appearance of parties and/or their counsel and the matters which are fixed for recording of evidence, shall be adjourned," the office order of the High Court said.

The high court had commenced complete physical functioning from March 15 onwards.

Subsequently, it had said that virtual or hybrid proceedings would be held on the request of lawyers.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in March last year, the court was holding proceedings through video conferencing. Its functioning was restricted to urgent matters from March 16 last year.

Thereafter, from March 25 last year, the functioning of the high court and district courts was further restricted and no physical hearing was being conducted due to the spread of COVID-19.

Subsequently, from September last year a few benches started holding physical courts everyday on a rotation basis.

Some of them, thereafter, also started holding hybrid proceedings, wherein lawyers have the option to attend the hearing via video conference instead of appearing in person. PTI HMP RKS RKS

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