Manipur High Court issues detailed guidelines for functioning of courts

Both High Court, districts court to regulate regular sittings till January 15


All courts, including the High Court and district court or tribunal, have been directed to regulate regular sittings till January 15, the High Court of Manipur notified on Monday.

The notice for issuing of guidelines for court functioning was issued through a video conference in view of the pandemic.

It stated that all courts of Manipur will take up motion cases, limited urgent regular and pending cases through video conferencing on various dates to be fixed, depending on the nature of urgency for early or regular listing. The court proceedings including special cases shall be done through video conferencing facility as per guidelines issued by the High Court, it added.

The holdings of limited physical courts of the High Court will be decided by the judges concerned after taking into account the need, nature and stage of the case and with the permission of the chief justice by maintaining strict COVID-19 protocol and social distancing, the notice stated. The district court's holding of limited physical court will be decided by the presiding officer concerned, it added.

It mentioned that for the High Court, the filling of fresh cases and other applications or documents will be accepted through mail at hcmefiling@gmail.com without restriction.

The hard copy of the cases already filed through email so far has to be submitted to the registry when regular court work resumes. For any urgent listing, the day will be considered on an application in the approval format when made before the Registry and it will be placed before the chief justice, it stated.

The notice further stated that for the District Courts/Tribunals, fresh cases shall be filed by email in soft copy format. Hard copies of the cases already filed through email filing so far have to be submitted to the courts concerned after restrictions are relaxed, it added.

In case email filing is not possible due to any reason, hard copy may also be filed with permission of the Court concerned, it stated. Urgent application can be moved with the permission of the presiding Judge, it further stated while adding that counsels/parties-in-person who file through emails, shall file an undertaking to the effect that necessary court fees, sworn affidavit and other documents be submitted after restrictions are relaxed. 

It mentioned that petition/application filed through email filing shall not exceed 15-20 pages as far as possible. All necessary and important annexures/documents can be filed as part of the cases filed. The hard copy of the case with annexure of documents shall be submitted as and when restrictions are relaxed, it added.  

The documents which cannot be conveniently sent by email such as voluminous printed and bound very old, etc. may be submitted as hard copy with the permission of Registrar (Judicial) in case of High Court and in case of the District Courts/ Tribunals with the permission of the presiding officer concerned.  Court Court hour will be from 10.30 am to 4.00 pm or till the discharge of cause list whichever is earlier, it stated.  

All motion and other matters will be listed before the appropriate bench as assigned by the chief justice or his designate, it further stated while adding that in case of District Courts/Tribunals, mention is to be made before the presiding judge.

The notice further stated that advocates who enter court complexes for any reason have to maintain strict social distancing and subject themselves to thermal scanning and COVID-19 screening. COVID-19 protocol is to be maintained. Litigants and other officials relating to a case can enter court premises only with prior permission of the presiding judicial officer, it stated. Wearing a mask at all times is compulsory in all court complexes of Manipur. Strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol is a must, it added.  

District & Sessions Judges and presiding officers may work out modalities for proper functioning of their respective Courts in consultation with the members of Bar and other stakeholders, as may be necessary. Cases ready for argument shall be heard by video conferencing, it stated adding district Courts/Tribunals shall conduct time bound and specially directed cases without any excuse or delay, 

It stated that Manipur Judicial Academy will conduct online training programmes during the pandemic. In view of the hardships faced by the common people during the pandemic, Manipur State Legal Services Authority shall take up urgent legal services activities at all levels, as may be possible following COVID-19 protocol, it added.  

The notice mentioned that pending cases, other than listed cases, fixed for hearing on daily basis up to January 15 shall be adjourned to subsequent dates in respect of High Court and District Courts. However, this will not apply to special courts and trials as directed by the Supreme Court and High Court.

The interim orders granted by the High Court for a specified date in pending cases stand extended till the next date of effective hearing, it stated. The interim orders granted by the District Courts/Tribunals in pending cases for a specified date shall be extended till the next date of effective hearing, it further stated while adding similar arrangements shall be made by the entire respective Juvenile Justice Boards of the districts. 

As far as the High Court is concerned, all officers and staff of the High Court shall attend office on all working days, it stated. However, such officers/ staff who are residing in the containment zones are exempted from attending office on written permission from the registrar general, it added.   

It further stated that digitization and Scanning work shall continue. However, those who are from the containment zones are exempted on written permission of the CPC, it stated.  

As far as District Courts/Tribunals are concerned, the presiding judges shall ensure attendance of staff for the purpose of court sitting and office work. Those residing in the containment zones are exempted from attending office on written permission from the presiding judge, it stated.

Entry to the Bank and Post Office in High Court Complex will be restricted and regulated in view of strict COVID-19 protocol, it added.  

First Published:Dec. 1, 2020, 12:49 a.m.

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