Lower courts in Kerala can hold physical hearings from tomorrow

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has given permission for the lower courts to hold limited physical hearing of cases as lockdown restrictions have been eased in the state. Also, guidelines have been issued on the functioning of district courts and others from Monday onwards.

The judicial officers can take a call on this matter. However, there should not be any crowds at the court hall and premises. The High Court also instructed that that the clients should be admitted to the court only if necessary.

The High Court registrar (district judiciary) P G Ajit Kumar's order states that priority should be given for old cases and those which have been directed by the higher courts to be disposed of within a stipulated time. The district judges have also been instructed to submit a report after two weeks.

Other instructions

The presiding officer should ensure that there are only a few people in the court. Social distancing should be ensured while making seating arrangements at the court and veranda.

If possible, witness examination can be done through video conferencing.

The court proceedings should begin by 10.45am via online.

Fifty per cent of the staff should be deployed for work at the office and the rest at home on a rotation basis.

The list of cases to be considered in a week should be notified on the previous Friday. Time should be scheduled for each case to be considered in the morning and afternoon. The list should be prepared while considering the convenience of the lawyers and the clients.

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