After operating virtually for around a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi high court on Saturday ordered all its benches to hold physical hearings on a daily basis from March 15.
The court stated, ‘all the Courts of Joint Registrars (Judicial) shall continue to hold courts as per the existing arrangement up to 12.03.2021 and shall hold regular physical courts, on a daily basis, with effect from March 15, 2021’.
The court may, in exceptional cases, permit any of the parties and/or their Counsel to join the proceedings through video conferencing, subject to the availability of requisite infrastructure.
‘It is expected that the Advocates, litigants and other visitors to this Court strictly adhere to the norms of social distancing and all other Covid-19 protocols, guidelines, directions, etc. issued by the Government of India, Government of NCT of Delhi and this court from time to time,’ the court said.
Earlier, the Delhi high court in an official statement said that all the district courts of Delhi to hold hearing physically on an alternate day basis and continue to take up the matters through ‘video conferencing’ on non-physical days from January 18.
The official statement also said that 11 benches of Delhi high court will hold physical court while the rest will take matter via video-conferencing in view of the decline in the intensity of spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the national capital.
Earlier, Full Court has also ordered that 11 benches of Delhi HC, including two division benches, three single-benches of civil side, three single-benches of criminal side and three original jurisdiction of civil shall hold physical courts with effective from January 18, 2021, while the remaining benches shall continue to take up the matters through video conferencing as per the roster to be notified on the website of this court.
Last year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the high court on March 25 had restricted its functioning along with district courts till April 14 and then it shifted slowly to the video conferencing-based hearings.