New Delhi, Sep 1 : While the country is in the fourth phase of the Unlock following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday opened partially for holding physical hearing after nearly four months, during which the court was functioning through video conferencing.
“Pursuant to the directions contained in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by this Court, the entry time to the court blocks for attending physical hearing shall be regulated as per the time slots for different batches of cases,” said Delhi High Court Registrar General Manoj Jain in a statement.
The statement further said that each batch shall consist of 10 cases. Entry of the first batch to the particular floor of the court block shall take place at 10.00 a.m. Second batch shall be permitted entry to a designated waiting space inside the court block at 11.15 a.m. and the third batch at 12.15 p.m.
“No person shall be permitted entry inside the court blocks before the designated time slot. All concerned are requested to cooperate,” Jain said.
Physical hearing has begun for the five benches on a rotation basis while the remaining benches will continue to take up matters through video conferencing. On Tuesday, two division benches including that of presided by Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan and three single-judge benches are holding physical hearings.
Apart from the division bench headed by Chief Justice, another division bench presided over by Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar and three single-judge benches presided over by Justice Jayant Nath, Justice V. Kameswar Rao and Justice Yogesh Khanna are holding physical courts on Tuesday.
Following the lockdown imposed by the Centre in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country, the High Court had suspended its functioning since March 23. However, the High Court continued to take up urgent matters through video conferencing.
From April 1 to July 31, the Delhi High Court listed around 13,000 matters before the benches through video conferencing. Upon hearing the parties, around 2,800 main cases and around 11,000 miscellaneous applications were disposed of.
During this period, the Registry carried out the registration of around 21,000 new main cases/miscellaneous applications. Around 196 PIL cases were instituted and 155 PIL cases were disposed during this period.
Different Committees of the High Court, conducted around 300 meetings through video conferencing on various administrative and court-functioning related issues.
The High Court Registry also organised virtual farewell for Justice I. S. Mehta and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.
In the district courts, approximately 67,000 matters were taken up through video conferencing during this period. Besides pronouncement of judgments in around 3,700 cases, more than 21,000 miscellaneous applications were disposed of by the District Courts.
Delhi Judicial Academy conducted 30 training programs and 40 special training sessions during this pandemic period and successfully imparted training to 760 judicial officers, prosecutors and other stakeholders.