Court proceeding suspended, video conferencing for urgent cases: Manipur High Court

If video conferencing is not possible due to any reason, the court proceeding may return to physical court by maintaining strict COVID-19 protocol and social distancing on permission.

As state government extended lockdown till August 6, High Court of Manipur on Friday issued strict notice to maintain COVID-19 protocol of social distancing if physical court is necessary and stated that regular court proceeding has been suspended till August 7.

All courts in Manipur including the High Court will take up urgent cases through video conferencing which included special ordered cases. However, if video conferencing is not possible due to any reason, the court proceeding may return to physical court by maintaining strict COVID-19 protocol and social distancing on permission.

The notice also stated that the video conferencing software will be ‘Jitsi Meet’ which can be used through desktop or laptop by simply opening the link sent by the Court end through any browser like Google Chrome, Firefox and others.  For mobile phone users, Jitsi Meet App has to be downloaded and installed from ‘Play Store’ or ‘App Store’ and after that the link sent by the Court end needs to be clicked.

For the High Court, filing of fresh matters will be accepted by e-mail only at hcmefiling@gmail.com and pending notification for e-filing is under process. Hard copies have to be submitted to the registry after restrictions are relaxed. Any urgent listing for the day or filing of other application/documents, etc is to be made before the registry and it will be placed before the chief justice for appropriate order. Counsel for the either side can seek hearing of pending cases by the way of the application for listing of old pending cases after serving notice on the other side.

For the District Courts/Tribunals, fresh urgent cases will be accepted by e-mail and hard copies should be submitted later on after restrictions are relaxed. Urgent application can be moved with the permission of the presiding judge.
Counsels/Parties shall file an undertaking to the effect that necessary court fees, sworn affidavit and other documents be submitted after restrictions are relaxed.

As far as possible, filing of petition/application through e-mail  should not exceed 15-20 pages along with important annexures/documents and complete set should be submitted later on after restrictions are relaxed.

All urgent motion matters will be listed before the appropriate Bench as assigned by the chief justice. In case of District Courts/Tribunals, mention is to be made before the presiding judge.

If the advocates need to enter court complexes for any reason, strict social distancing and other covid-19 protocol needs to be maintained. Litigants and other officials relating to a case can enter the court premises only with prior permission of the court or presiding judicial officer. 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 stake holders, as may be necessary.

Wearing of mask at all time is compulsory in all the court complexes of Manipur and strict adherence to covid-19 protocol is a must. Normal training programmes of Manipur Judicial Academy which require physical attendance shall remain suspended till August 7. However, online training programmes shall be continued during lockdown period without fail.
In view of the hardship faced by the common people during the covid-19 pandemic, Manipur State Legal Services Authority shall take up urgent legal services activities at all level, as may be possible.

Pending cases fixed for hearing on day-to-day basis up to August 7 shall be adjourned to subsequent dates in respect of High Court and district courts, and the information in this regards is to be uploaded on the website of the district court and it shall also be pasted on notice board.

The interim orders granted by the High Court for a specified date in pending cases shall be extended till next date of effective hearing.

The interim orders granted by the District Courts/Tribunals in pending cases for a specified date shall be extended till next date of effective hearing and similar arrangements shall be made by all the respective Juvenile Justice Boards of the districts.

Attendance of employees in the High Court and the District Courts/Tribunals including digitisation and scanning project shall remain suspended. However, officers from Superintendent and above shall make themselves available for urgent official works.

First Published:Aug. 1, 2020, 9:17 a.m.

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