|Gauhati High Court okays limited physical functioning of courts|
GUWAHATI, Oct 14 - The Gauhati High Court has given the go-ahead for limited physical functioning of the courts in the State on an experimental basis from October 19, 2020.
The High Court vide a notification, has authorised the district and sessions judges and the presiding officers of motor accident claims tribunals (MACTs), family courts, CBI courts etc., in the State to resume limited physical functioning after installation of satisfactory COVID appropriate protective measures in the court rooms.
Outlining the category of matters to be taken up during this period, the High Court said that the district and sessions judges and additional district and sessions judges can hear bail applications under Section 438/439 of CrPC, criminal revision and appeals, recording evidences in cases where sitting or former MPs or MLAs are accused persons, succession matters, civil appeals, arbitration matter arguments, etc.
Under MACTs submission of examination-in-chief on affidavits, cases pending for argument etc., have been allowed during the trial period.
In view of the COVID pandemic, physical functioning of the courts was restricted from mid March, even before announcement of the national lockdown.
Welcoming the decision of the High Court, the All Assam Lawyers’ Association (AALA) stated that the COVID-19-induced situation has had a very adverse impact on the majority of lawyers.
A delegation of AALA and Lawyers Association Guwahati (LAG) today met Acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court N Kotiswar Singh and discussed the issue elaborately urging him to regularise the physical functioning of the courts.
Gradual reopening of the courts would not just provide the much needed relief to the legal fraternity but would also expedite the justice delivery system in State, which has suffered a setback amid the lockdown, the lawyers’ bodies stated.
“The legal profession is passing through a disastrous phase with most of the lawyers living in a pitiable state. Moreover, the virtual courts hardly give any succour to the litigant public as the cases move at a snail’s pace in such courts,” AALA general secretary Dipak Kumar Das stated.
AALA, LAG and a number of lawyers’ bodies and bar associations have been demanding resumption of physical functioning of the courts with immediate effect.