COVID-19: HC orders closure of all courts during lockdown

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The Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday ordered closure all the Court complexes of J-K and Ladakh including the High Court complexes at Srinagar and Jammu, during the period of the lockdown.

This is has been ordered in view of the declaration of 21-day lockdown by the Government of India and the closure of the Government offices by J-K administration till April 14, Registrar General of the high court has said in a circular.

“The Judicial Officers, Officers and staff of the registry and the staff of the District Courts shall remain available at all times at their respective residences to deal with any business of emergent nature,” the circular reads. Any urgent business shall be transacted on the virtual mode, it said.

“The officers and staff shall strictly follow the advisories and instructions regarding prevention of spread of Coronavirus (Covid19) infection issued by the Government from time to time.”

The Principal District and Sessions Judges have been asked to make arrangements for hearing of any exceptionally urgent Civil or Criminal matter(s) from the residence(s) of the Judicial Officer(s) who shall be designated by the concerned District and Sessions Judge for the purpose, the circular reads.

“Hearings shall be on the virtual mode only”.

All orders and instructions of the Government of India and Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir regarding social distancing, restrictions, precautions, quarantine, isolation etc shall be strictly complied with, the circular reads. “For dealing with any exceptionally urgent matter(s) pertaining to the High Court, the concerned Registrar Judicial shall, after seeking necessary orders from the Chief Justice, make requisite arrangements for hearing of such matters from the residence(s) of the Hon’ble Judge(s) in accordance with the directions of the Chief Justice. Hearings shall be on the virtual mode only,” the circular added. (GNS)

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