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Karnataka HC restores Covid-19 guidelines for court functioning

The division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj restored its earlier order which was initiated on June 1, 2020 for dealing with issues arising due to the pandemic.

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The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday restored the guidelines issued earlier to tackle the situation of various legal and technical issues that arose before the District and trial Courts, from June 1, 2020 due to the pandemic of Covid-19

The division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj while hearing a suo motu PIL, restored its earlier order which was initiated on June 1, 2020 for dealing with the issues arising due to the pandemic of Covid-19. The earlier petition was disposed of on January 15, 2021 as the court felt that no further directions were required to be issued.

The Court noted that considering the situation created by the second wave of Covid-19, further directions are required to be issued for the smooth functioning of the Courts and for the benefit of the litigants and the members of the bar and recalled its earlier order dated January 15, 2021 and said,”We restore the Petition,” the Court said.

The Court stated that due to the lockdown announced by the Government of Karnataka, the members of the bar are not able to enter the High Court complexes for rectification of the office objections. Senior Counsel Udaya Holla was appointed as the Amicus Curiae in the case.

The Court issued following directions:‐ (i) In all those cases where while passing the peremptory orders for rectification of the office objections, time granted to rectify the same has expired or is likely to expire during the period from April 26, 2021 till June 11, 2021 (both days inclusive), the time granted stands extended till June 25, 2021;

(ii) We make it clear that all the cases which were dismissed due to non rectification of office objections due to the expiry of the period provided in peremptory orders during the period from April 26, 2021 till today (both days inclusive), the same shall be treated as restored and the above extension will be applicable to the said cases;

(iii) For the time being, we direct that the office objections except the objections regarding maintainability and Court fee shall not be raised in any criminal matters. However, when the criminal matters are placed before the respective Benches, if a direction is issued by the Court for rectification of certain objections, the same will have to be rectified;

(iv) Wherever time is granted by the Court for rectification of the office objections which has expired or is likely to expire between the period from April 26, 2021 till June 11, 2021 (both days inclusive), the same shall stand extended till June 18, 2021;

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(v) The above directions shall apply to the Principal Bench at Bengaluru as well as the Benches at Kalaburagi and Dharwad of the High Court of Karnataka.

“Registrar (Judicial) will notify the restoration of the petition to the other Counsel appearing for the parties. List the Petition on May 24, 2021 for issuing further directions,” the Court ordered.

Source: ILNS

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