Coronavirus: Make optimum use of video conferencing, Delhi HC to District Courts

New Delhi [India], Mar 13 (ANI): In view of the outbreak of coronavirus, Delhi High Court Chief Justice and other judges held an urgent meeting on Friday and issued an advisory to all district courts in the national capital.

The Delhi High Court has asked District Courts to make optimum use of video conferencing, and the accused can be produced through video conferencing instead of their physical appearance. The court has also asked the subordinate courts to prefer written submissions over oral arguments, the advisory states.

The High Court has also suggested the District Courts that "thermal scanner (non-touch) may be procured at the earliest, handlers be trained and they be put to use at the existing checkpoints."

It further said that in criminal matters, the request for exemption from the personal appearance of the accused be considered favourably and in civil matters wherever possible, service of Local Commissioner be availed of for the purpose of the recording of evidence, after obtaining the consent of both the parties.

"The facility of video conferencing be put to optimum use for the purposes of the recording of evidence, Instead of the physical production of under-trial prisoners (UTPs) from jails, the facility of video conferencing be availed of. Unnecessary crowding in the lock-up be curtailed and appropriate steps in this regard be taken all the District and Sessions Judges in consultation with the prison authorities," the advisory adds.

The Delhi HC advisory also stated that the District and Sessions Judge in-charge of the court complex shall ensure that medical dispensaries in the court complex are well equipped to tackle the present emergent situation.

"It be ensured by all the District and Sessions Judges that sanitisers are available in their respective districts, for the visitors as well as the staff, particularly those manning windows where there is constant public dealing housekeeping agency/staff be asked to ensure that highest level of hygiene is maintained in the court complex and disinfectants are sprayed on a regular basis," adds the advisory.

While issuing the advisory to all district courts, the Delhi High Court has also decided to restrict its functioning to urgent matters from March 16 to prevent and control the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

The date of routine matter will be given by the court masters. The High Court has also decided to restrict the entry of interns and that the personal presence of litigants is not required unless it is indispensable. (ANI)