Allahabad HC, district courts to hold virtual hearings amid COVID-19 surge in UP

Due to the escalation in the number of COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh and across the country, the Allahabad High Court has stopped the physical hearing of cases and now, the regular functioning will take place through the virtual mode from Monday (April 12) onwards.

As per the statement, initially, 25 courts will be functional for hearing through virtual mode but may increase or decrease as per the existing workload (number of cases) and requirements.
The statement further suggested that if required, case files in physical form will be presented before the Court even during the virtual hearing. In order to contain the spread of the virus, Litigants-In-Person and clerks to the advocates will not be permitted to enter the premises of Allahabad High Court.

With the online hearing, the procedure for filing cases, petitions, applications, and other relevant documents will be done through e-mode and physical form. The statement mentioned that the filing time will be up to 4 pm for clearing the pendency.

In matters regarding filing, listing and other information related to cases, a 24/7 help-line will be available in order to assist advocates.

‘Precautionary Steps to contain the virus’

With around 58,000 active cases, Uttar Pradesh which holds the population of 23.50 crore, contributes to India’s active case tally which accounts to around 5.31%. In view of the sharp rise in the number of cases, the government of Uttar Pradesh announced new restrictions on Sunday which include imposing night curfew from 9 pm to 6 am in districts reporting 100 cases on a daily basis or 500 active cases. Consequently, witnessing the situation, the government has decided the closure of schools and educational institutions till April 30. However, schools are allowed to conduct pre-scheduled examinations, if and when required. In order to trace the virus, a daily target to conduct 1 lakh RT-PCR tests has been set by the state.

The state has restricted the number of people in a gathering including weddings and other public events. Putting a cap, in closed spaces, not more than 50 persons are allowed, while in open spaces, not more than 100 persons are allowed to gather.

The government has decided to shift the weekly markets to open spaces if they attract excessive crowds. Along with this, the supply of essential items in containment areas will be ensured by government authorities.

The necessary actions are taking place to control the situation. With this, the screening process for all passengers travelling through trains will be arranged at the railway station itself. The order also ensured that sanitisation work will be undertaken by the fire department on a war footing.

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