The Bombay High Court on Saturday said the functioning of the court’s benches in Mumbai, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Goa shall be restricted to urgent matters for a week from March 16 in view of the coronavirus. The latest notification by the court states that this is being done only in view of the various advisories issued by the ministry of health and family welfare and those issued by the secretary-general and the Supreme Court.
Keeping in view, the World Health Organisation’s decision to label Covid-19 as a pandemic has also been taken into account with respect to this decision. The WHO has advised governments across the globe against mass congregations, keeping in line opinions of public health experts, including medical professionals. The HC is also considering the safety and welfare of all the litigants, lawyers, staff members and parties appearing in-person along with security, maintenance and support staff.
The HC said, “Advocates, litigants and parties in persons may mention their matters showing the urgency before the concerned courts and upon satisfaction about the urgency, the court shall hear such matters and CMIS dates would be given to the rest of the matters.”
Orders of ad-interim and interim relief subsisting in the matter shall continue to operate, added the Bombay HC. Further, the notification appeals to all bar associations and advocates, asking them to restrict the entry of the litigants in the courts.
The notification, signed by registrar general SB Agrawal also asks advocates and concerned parties to provide numbers and the stages of matter on the daily board which they want to be taken up urgently. “The rest of the matters on the Regular Board stand adjourned and everyone is requested by the court to cooperate with the instructions,” added the notification.