Office-bearers of the Pune Bar Association on Wednesday said only “extremely urgent” matters are being heard amid the nationwide lockdown and preparations are on to set up systems wherein urgent bail matters can be heard via video-conferencing from police stations.
As per directions of the Bombay High Court, the district courts are currently conducting hearings only in urgent matters for a short time every day.
“Hearings are currently on only in extremely urgent matters, most of which are pertaining to bails. All other hearings, including trial proceedings like evidentiary hearing and witness depositions, have been currently put on hold. In the civil court too, only matters of grave importance are being listed,” said Satish Mulik, president of the Pune Bar Association.
The Shivajinagar court premises has a total of nearly 80 courtrooms dealing with civil and criminal matters. Nowadays, only three to four courts are functioning on a daily basis and that too for a short time, with strict adherence to safety norms.
Mulik added, “In some cases, urgent hearings are being conducted with the judge sitting in the chamber and the parties from the video-conference room in the court… safety measures are being adhered to in the strictest possible way.”
Pune Bar Association Vice-President Sachin Hingnebar said, “Preparations are also being made to start a mechanism so that arrested persons aren’t required to be brought before the court and custody or bail hearings can be conducted via video-conferencing from the police station.”
Meanwhile, a number of senior lawyers practicing in the Pune court have contributed to a fund which is being utilised to help young lawyers, who need assistance due to the stoppage of usual business of the courts.
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