The Gujarat High Court on Monday issued guidelines on physical filing of cases in subordinate courts from August 4, except courts in micro containment zones, specifying that “it must not be construed as starting of physical functioning of court work”.
As per the guidelines, the principal judicial officer of courts shall identify and earmark a dedicated room with facility of window that can operate as a special counter where litigants or advocates shall submit physical cases in a sealed envelope, between 11 am and 2 pm. The room should be properly ventilated and isolated from the rest of the court. In complexes where a dedicated room is not feasible, special counters shall be set up for physical filing.
Once filed, the envelopes must be kept untouched for 24 hours in a cupboard or a cabinet, after which they should be sent to the filing centre for verification, registration and entry in the database.
Advocates or litigants shall be permitted to enter the court complex one at a time, maintaining social distancing. None shall enter without mask, the guidelines said. Advocates and litigants are also expected to be “extra cautious” while filing of cases in sealed envelopes “so that there is no lacuna or query in case papers…”
Of the matters filed, only those which can be conducted through video-conferencing, as per an earlier HC circular, as well matters pertaining to search warrant or recovery of maintenance will also be treated as urgent and taken up.
For any other matter that the advocate or litigant wants urgent hearing, he/she may file a note of urgency along with the main case, which may be considered subject to the discretion of the judicial officer concerned, considering the facts and circumstances of the case.
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