Courts in J&K, Ladakh to resume `physical’ hearing from February 8

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Entry of litigants in court premises remain prohibited

Jammu: After more than nine months of virtual hearing, Jammu and Kashmir High Court and its subordinate courts across the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh will resume physical hearing from lawyers from February 8.

However, only advocates will be allowed to enter the courts as the entry of litigants and public into the Court premises from the very outer gate shall continue to be prohibited, according to an order issued by Chief Justice of the High Court, Pankaj Mithal. 

If any litigant on any reasonable ground is compelled to argue his case personally, he shall be allowed entry into the Court premises subject to the condition that he makes an application at least two days prior to the date of hearing through e-mail to the Registrar Judicial/Presiding Officer of the Court disclosing such compelling reasons and seeking permission in that regard, the order said.

“Keeping in view the latest SOPs of the Government of India and Government of Jammu & Kashmir relating to relaxation in restrictions regarding containment of COVID-19 and also the considerable decline in daily number of Covid-19 cases, the physical hearing of the cases in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir as well as in the District and Subordinate Courts and Tribunals in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh shall resume with effect from February 8,” the order read. However, to ensure that there is no complacency against the spread of covid-19 infection, the Chief Justice ordered all latest SOPs of the Central and J&K Government regarding gathering at public places shall be followed in letter and spirit.

Advocates shall be allowed entry into the Court premises, it said, asking them to restrict their entry in a manner that only those Advocates enter the court building on a given day whose cases are listed on that day before any of the Bench/Court.

“Entry of Clerks and Agents of the Advocates into the Court rooms shall continue to be prohibited for the time being,’’ it added.

The canteens located in the premises of the Court Complexes have been also permitted to be opened from February 8 subject to the strict observance of all the relevant SOPs, instructions etc.