The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana High Court’s General House passed a resolution on Wednesday regarding the resumption of work by starting physical and actual hearing of cases in the courts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
In the meeting, the Bar discussed about the imposition of lockdown by the central government on account of COVID-19, the function of the High Court and the subordinate courts in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, which had come to a standstill.
The discussion and pleadings made in regard to the matter were approved by Karanjit Singh, Chairman, Punjab and Haryana High Court, and the resolution passed was moved to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court by the Bar.
During the meeting, it was discussed that in the initial stages only a few cases, under the category of very urgent cases, were listed for hearing through video conferencing. However, after the declaration of lockdown 4, when certain relaxations in the restrictions were granted by the government in order to revive the economy, some more urgent cases through mentioning were ordered to be listed in the High Court.
The facility of video conferencing has its own limitations and it cannot be said to be replacement for the actual functioning of the court, the Bar Council members said.
The advocates said, despite best efforts, the infrastructure in the High Court and in the subordinate courts do not allow listing of even all cases of urgent nature which used to be listed in the cause list of urgent cases prior to imposition of lockdown on March 25.
The need has been felt to restart physical functioning of the courts which is High Court and the subordinate courts in view of the latest directions issued by the government, in which mostly all restrictions on movement of individuals have been removed and shops, trains, flight services and commercial activities have resumed.
It was contended that actual working of the court should be started at the earliest, since the present working system was not only insufficient, but it was not providing proper delivery of justice.
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