Coronavirus: Delhi HC limits its functioning, few benches to take up only urgent matters

The high court, which had on March 13 issued various directions restricting its functioning, held an urgent meeting on Monday and passed fresh directives.

The Delhi High Court decided on Monday to limit its functioning due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and hold hearing of only few benches till March 20.

The high court, which had on March 13 issued various directions restricting its functioning, held an urgent meeting on Monday and passed fresh directives.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the high court’s eight-judge Administrative and General Supervision Committee headed by Chief Justice D N Patel and the president and honorary secretary of the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) “to contain the spread of pandemic coronavirus”.

It decided that the functioning of the high court stands restricted till March 20, when the situation will be reviewed by the committee.

On March 17 and March 19, four division benches, four single judge benches for civil jurisdiction and three single judge benches each for criminal and original jurisdiction would hear “only urgent matters”.

On March 18 and 20, three division benches, three single judge benches for civil jurisdiction and three single judge benches each for criminal and original jurisdiction would hear “only urgent matters”.

In the normal course, a total of 26 benches sit for hearing all the matters.

With the coronavirus cases reaching 114 nationwide, several states have taken steps to restrict or close certain public places so as to check its spread. All the courts in the national capital have also curtailed the functioning and restricting the entry of people on their premises.

The high court said all the pending matters, listed from March 17 to 20, before the court as well as the registrars or joint registrars would be adjourned to April 14, 15, 16 and 17 respectively.

The urgent matters to be listed on the following day shall be determined by the designated joint registrars (JR) and it can be mentioned before the JR (judicial) from 10:30 AM to 12 PM everyday till March 20.

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