Karnataka HC to hear only urgent cases during lockdown

The Karnataka High Court (HC) would hear only urgent cases from Wednesday till further notice due to lockdown being re-imposed across the city from Tuesday to July 22 for containing the corona virus spread, an official said on Monday.

“Till lockdown is withdrawn, listing of cases will not be permitted unless they are urgent. Memos submitted by e-mail for listing of only urgent cases will be entertained,” said high court’s registrar general Rajendra Badamikar in an order, as directed by Chief Justice Abhya Shreeniwas Oka.

In view of the surging Covid cases in the state capital since July 1, the state government has on July 11 decided to reinforce a 9-day lockdown on the advice of health experts to break the virus chain.

Of the 2,627 new cases reported on Sunday, Bengaluru accounted for a whopping 1,525, taking its Covid tally to 18,387, including 14,067 active after 4,045 were discharged so far, while 274 died of the infection since March 9.

“As a few members of the judicial staff will be able to attend the high court due to the complete lockdown from July 15, appointments will be given only for filing caveats and miscellaneous documents of the cases listed,” said the order.

Payment of process fee and court fee and prior appointments to file new cases will be allowed.

“Appointments for rectification of objections from July 15 are cancelled till the lockdown is lifted. Matters for hearing or video conferencing will also be not listed,” said the registrar.

Electronic filing will continue as per the July 10 standard operating procedure with modification that only urgent matters which cannot wait till the lockdown is withdrawn.

“Efforts will be made to list all cases for video conferencing on dates fixed, as sitting of judges may be cancelled during the lockdown,” said the order.

The Dharwad and Kalaburagi benches of the high court in the state’s northwest and northern regions will function as per the guidelines.

Hearing in all district and trial courts in urban and rural areas of Bengaluru will also be discontinued from Wednesday till the lockdown is lifted.

No appointments for filing matters will be given from July 15 till the lockdown is withdrawn, except for filing caveats and payment of process and court fee.

“District and trial courts will hear urgent cases by video conference as per the procedure prior to June 1. E-filing of cases is allowed,” said the order.

Advocates or parties-in-person can submit their requests for urgent hearing by e-mail to principal district judges or chief metropolitan-2 magistrate.

“The principal district judges or chief metropolitan magistrate will assign urgent cases to appropriate courts and inform their date and time for hearing to lawyers by e-mail,” added the order.

Dates will be given to all cases listed in lower courts from July 15 after three weeks.