Amending the earlier notification, the chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court permitted the physical hearing of cases in all district, subordinate and the tribunal courts in J&K and Ladakh UT. Physical hearing will take place from February 8.
The order reads that only those advocates will enter the Court building on a given day whose cases are to be heard by the Bench/Court that day. Upon entering the court building, advocates will maintain social distancing among themselves and others. They will not be allowed to huddle in the court premises. They also will have to leave the court premises once their cases are finished.
However, the order restricts entry of Clerks and agents of the Advocates into the Courtrooms as of now.
The order further reads that if any litigant is compelled to present his case personally, then he/she has to make an application two days before the date of hearing and only after that he/she will be allowed to enter into the Court premises. The litigant has to make his/her application through e-mail to the Registrar Judicial/Presiding Officer of the Court mentioning compelling reasons and requesting for permission in that regard.
The order mentions restriction on entry of the clerical staff of the Advocate General’s office or of any Standing Counsel of any Department or any Government Officer in the Courtrooms as for now, unless they are specifically summoned or called by any Court.
Advocates are permitted to file their cases, applications etc., by either physical or virtual mode. However, the entry of advocates in the office rooms/branches of the High Court Registry/Courts will be forbidden.
The order states that the canteens which are located in the premises of the Court Complexes are also permitted to be opened and run with from 8 February 2021. However, these canteens have to strictly adhere to instructions and coronavirus guidelines. Those who manage these canteens will have to ensure that only half of the total employees attend the canteen at any given time.
This protocol will be reviewed after some time and it might be subject to change. If situation improves then further relaxations might take place.