Gujarat HC to hear urgent cases via video conference

Coronavirus: Gujarat High Court to hear urgent cases via video conference

The Gujarat High Court on Monday said it has decided to hear "extremely urgent matters" only through video conferencing, to ensure social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision comes after the Supreme Court decided to restrict its functioning to hear matters only in one court through video conference.

The matters already assigned for Monday were taken up by the Gujarat High Court's newly-assigned division benchand a single judge bench in their respective courts.

However, no fresh filing will be accepted from Monday, as per the circular issued by the high court registrar on Sunday night.

From Monday, only e-filing will be accepted, said a circular issued by the Gujarat High Court's registrar general.

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The decision has been taken with an aim to curtail the movement of judges, lawyers, high court staff, lawyers as well as litigants.

"Considering the gravity of the situation prevailing not only in Gujarat but the entire nation...it has been decided to take up all extremely urgent matters, both on the civil and criminal side, in continuation of the previous orders issued, by video conferencing," the circular said, adding that the facility will be effective from Monday itself.

"The judges will work from their respective chambers whereas others will be able to work from home or their office," it said, in a decision taken after due consultation with the stakeholders.

"However, the matters which have already been presented in the registry, and in which mention for urgency is accepted during this crisis period, no soft copy would be required. The arguments, however, will be through video conferencing only," it said.

A division bench and a single judge bench will be assigned by the Chief Justice on a daily basis to hear both criminal and civil cases through video conference, said the circular.

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