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Delhi High Court, district courts to resume physical hearing from August 31, 24

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The Delhi High Court and Districts Courts in the national capital will resume physical hearing in a restricted manner with effect from August 31 and August 24, respectively.

According to a statement issued by the Delhi High Court Registry on Thursday, the High Court modified its earlier office orders dated August 12, 2021, wherein physical hearing in the District Courts and the High Court was resolved to begin from August 31 and September 6, respectively. 

It is notified that suitable number of Benches of the High Court shall be constituted, as per the directions of the Chief Justice, to hold physical hearings, while the remaining Benches shall continue to take up the matters through video-conferencing, as per the existing system of listing of matters.

Through a separate order, the Principal District & Sessions Judges and the Principal Judge, Family Court (HQs), is directed to prepare the roster of judicial officers in such a manner that every judicial officer holds physical court on alternate days, while the others continue to hold courts through video-conferencing, as per the existing arrangement, on non-physical days.

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“Endeavour shall be made to take up stay applications, bail applications and other miscellaneous urgent matters on physical days, wherever request to such effect is made,” the statement added. 

The bail roster of Additional Sessions Judges is directed to be prepared while ensuring that on a given day, at least one Additional Sessions Judge sits physically; wherein in addition to his regular board, such roster judge, shall also deal with fresh bail applications in those cases, where investigation is pending and the counsel has made a specific request for hearing the matter in physical court.

In addition, it is informed that the office order dated April 8, 2021, directing the District Courts not to pass adverse orders in case of non-appearance of parties or their respective counsels, will cease to take effect from August 24.

The Courts are directed to permit hearing through video-conferencing on physical hearing days, where a request to such effect is made by any of the parties or their counsels.

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The order further added that all the Principal District & Sessions Judges and Principal Judge, Family Court (HQs) shall issue directions, in coordination with respective Bar Associations, to regulate entry and for compliance of norms related to Covid-appropriate behaviour and social distancing by all concerned. The necessary arrangements for production of undertrial prisoners shall be made in coordination with Prison and Lock-up authorities. 

It is clarified that to restrict the footfall, only those litigants will be allowed entry into the courtrooms, whose appearance is recommended by their respective counsel or who are appearing in person or whose presence has been directed by the Court.

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