Delhi HC, District Courts To Continue With Restricted Physical Hearings Till October 30

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The Delhi High Court and the district courts here will continue to hold restricted physical hearings till October 30, said the high court registry Thursday.
The high court stated that while the existing system of hearing — in which some notified benches hold court physically with an option to parties to appear through a virtual link — will continue for it, the district courts will have around three-fourth of their judicial officers sitting physically.

The remaining judges and judicial officers in the high court and district courts, respectively, will hold court through virtual mode.

“The Hon’ble Court has been pleased to order that the existing mechanism of hearing matters in this court shall continue till 31.10.2021,” said the office order for the high court by Registrar General Manoj Jain.

The order added that cases instituted in the year 2019 before the high court shall also be taken up with effect from October 4 and all other pending cases listed from October 4 to October 30 shall be adjourned en bloc.

“All the Principal District & Sessions Judges and Principal Judge, Family Court shall prepare a roster of judicial officers of their respective districts in such a manner that w.e.f. 04.10.2021, on any given day, around 3/4th of the total strength of judicial officers hold the court physically while the others hold the court through virtual mode. The aforesaid arrangement shall continue up to 30.10.2021,” said the office order issued for district courts.

Last month, the high court had announced that it would start physical hearings in a restricted manner from August 31, following which two division benches and 10 single-judge benches conducted proceedings physically and the remaining benches continued to take up matters through video conferencing.

The order permitted the high court to have hybrid/video conferencing hearings on physical hearing dates.

The Principal District & Sessions Judges and Principal Judge, Family Court was directed by the high court to prepare the roster of judicial officers in such a manner that every judicial officer holds physical court on alternate days while the others continue to hold courts through video-conferencing, as per the existing arrangement.

Since March 2020, the high court has been holding proceedings through video conferencing following the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequently, few benches had started holding physical courts every day on a rotation basis.

While the high court had resumed complete physical hearing from March 15, 2021, it had decided on April 8 that from April 9, it would take up matters through virtual mode only because of the rise in COVID-19 cases during the second wave.

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