THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court Wednesday allowed lower courts in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to allow filing of non-urgent cases in a phased manner and ordered that all persons entering the court buildings will be screened. Since March, the courts in the two states and the UT have been hearing only those cases requiring immediate relief.
“However, while regulating the filing of such cases, the district and sessions judges shall ensure that there is no overcrowding in the courts and adequate measures be taken at their own level, while utilising their resources to the optimum use, to regulate the footfall. Such filing shall be staggered in such a way that there is no overcrowding at the filing counter also,” the order, signed by HC Registrar General Sanjiv Berry, reads.
The HC, however, also said the categories of non-urgent cases, which are to be allowed for filing at the first instance or in the phased manner, will be decided by the district and sessions judges keeping in view the nature of litigation in their sessions division or sub-division.
While asking the district and sessions judges to take into consideration the situation prevalent in their areas while taking such decisions, the HC said they will depute the requisite number of judicial officers and the staff to courts depending upon the necessity as well as the guidelines issued by the authorities from time to time.
“The remaining officers as well as the staff shall work from home. They will not leave the station except by taking permission from the competent authority and will also make themselves available immediately as and when their services on required,” reads the order.
The officers and officials attending the offices or courts have also been asked to strictly adhere to the government and health advisories issued from time to time. The HC has also ordered that the court buildings be sanitized regularly. “All the entrants in the court building should be got screened at the time of the entry and any of the officers/officials showing the symptoms of high fever/cold/cough/sneezing etc. should not be asked to attend office,” the HC said in the order.
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