After a year, the Delhi High Court will resume from Monday its complete physical functioning, which was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From March 15, all judges of the high court would hold physical hearing of cases.
Since March 2020, the high court has been holding proceedings through video conferencing and subsequently, a few benches started holding physical courts everyday on a rotation basis.
Some of them were also holding hybrid proceedings, wherein lawyers have the option to attend the hearing via video conference instead of appearing in person.
According to a notification issued by the high court administration on March 12, limited numbers of litigants who are appearing in person and/or required to appear in compliance of the court's order/directions be permitted in the court premises.
The high court on March 2 had issued certain guidelines to be followed upon resumption of physical court hearings from March 15, including that visitors and advocates shall maintain social distancing as per government norms.
A circular issued by the administration branch of the high court earlier had said entry of litigants will be regulated as it was during the pre-COVID-19 pandemic period and facilitation counter/pass counter will also function in a normal manner.
"All the visitors, including lawyers, shall maintain social distancing as per norms/protocol issued by the government of India/ Delhi government and or this court," it had said.
The functioning of the high court was restricted to urgent matters from March 16, 2020.
Thereafter, from March 25 last year, the functioning of the high court and district courts was further restricted and no physical hearing was being conducted due to the spread of COVID-19 cases.
An office order had said that all pending routine or non-urgent matters listed before it from February 22 to March 26 would be adjourned en bloc to dates between April 15 and May 20.