April 11, 2021 10:45:36 pm
ALL courts across the state will remain closed on April 12. The decision has been taken by the Bombay High Court in a bid to break the chain of transmission of Covid-19 virus.
Based on the directives of the High Court, the District and Sessions Court in Pune has declared April 12 a holiday “to take precautionary measures and break the chain of coronavirus”.
Yogesh Tupe, vice-president of the Pune Bar Association, said courts will remain shut in Pune for five days. “The courts will remain shut on April 12 as well as on two consecutive public holidays. It has been effected to break the chain of transmission of the virus…Only remand work has been allowed,” he said, adding that this is the first time in many years when courts will remain shut for five days.
Advocate Sushil Mancharkar, former president of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Bar Association, said, “The courts were shut for the weekend. Though there is no public holiday on Monday, courts will remain shut to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission. On Tuesday and Wednesday, courts will stay shut for Gudi Padwa and Ambedkar Jayanti. Only remand work will continue on five days,” he said. “…every day, there is overcrowding in courts…It is also true that several advocates have also been affected by Covid-19,” Mancharkar said.
While declaring April 12 a holiday, the district judge clarified that “Judicial Officers in Pune judicial district shall attend urgent matters like remand work on April 12, as per usual arrangement made for holidays for the month of April 2021.”
The order of Principal and District Session judge Neeraj Dhote added, “All the Judicial Officers may post the matters fixed on April 12 either on the next working day or on appropriate dates, after considering the nature and urgency in the matters and daily board be updated in CIS accordingly. All the Judicial Officers in Pune Judicial District are to bring this Office Circular to the notice of all staff members under their control and the Bar Association of their respective stations. The Coordinator, Computer Section, District Court, Pune, has to upload this Circular on the official website of District Court, Pune.”
Based on a Bombay High Court circular issued on April 6, the District and Sessions Court, Pune, has also issued guidelines for functioning of subordinate courts in Pune on working days:
1. The courts shall function in two shifts and to take up remand and urgent matters physically. The judicial working hours will be of two hours in each shift (from 11 am to 1 pm and from 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm) with presence of 50 per cent of the staff everyday, till further orders, and the office working hours shall be half an hour before and after the judicial working hours.
2. The court may take up other matters, for example, fixed for recording of evidence and hearing of arguments via a virtual platform.
3. Courts may take up matters either brought or scheduled for compromise/compounding.
4. All courts in Pune Judicial District shall take up only remand and urgent matters as on holidays.
5. All courts shall remain closed on every Saturday.
6. The Judicial Officers may not pass any adverse order owing to the absence of advocates, parties, witnesses or accused persons.
7. The Principal Judicial Officer of the respective station has to issue necessary directions to the canteens, if any, functioning on
8. Only takeaway orders and parcel services to be allowed in.
9. All safety/precautionary measures envisaged vide SOP dated 27.11.2020 under reference No. (iv), shall apply mutatis mutandis.
10. All respective establishments have to nominate responsible staff members to oversee Covid-19 safety norms and conduct inspections on a daily basis in their respective court premises.
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