With rise in Omicron cases, Punjab and Haryana High Court to conduct hearings virtually : The Tribune India

With rise in Omicron cases, Punjab and Haryana High Court to conduct hearings virtually

The High Court is currently hearing cases both physically and virtually

With rise in Omicron cases, Punjab and Haryana High Court to conduct hearings virtually

Photo for representation purposes.



Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3

Amidst apprehensions of a Covid third wave propelled by the Omicron variant, a special committee constituted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday recommended virtual mode of hearing cases. 

The High Court is currently hearing cases both physically and virtually.

A note issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association’s Honorary Secretary Vishal Aggarwal said: “Seeing the current situation, it has been decided that all courts shall function in virtual mode till January 14, without any reduction in the number of courts functioning earlier, when the situation will be reviewed again. However, the listing, mentioning etc of cases shall continue to remain the same as earlier”.

He added the “emergent meeting” of the special committee, held to discuss the functioning of the courts from January 5, was attended by Bar president Santokhwinder Singh Grewal Nabha. Aggarwal added he, along with the Punjab and Haryana Advocates-General, Additional Solicitor-General of India and UT senior standing counsel, were also present, along with senior advocates.

The High Court had shifted to virtual mode of hearing in March 2020. Limited physical hearing was ordered to be resumed from February 8, 2021, but it had to be suspended as the second wave took in its grip High Court Judges, judicial officers in the subordinate judiciary, advocates, and the staff. The High Court was forced to go back to restrictive functioning from April 19, last year. But all Benches kept on functioning through the virtual mode.

Following a “massive surge” in cases, the functioning had to be restricted further from April 28, last year. But all Benches resumed functioning through the virtual mode from July 28 last year, with the reduction in the severity of the Covid second wave. The High Court decided to partially resume physical hearing of cases from September 6, last year. The number of Benches hearing cases physically increased gradually.

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