The Rajasthan High Court on Sunday asked all lower courts in the state to take all possible precautions against the spread of deadly coronavirus, including the legal and technological steps to avoid overcrowding in court premises.
The principal bench of the high court at Jodhpur here issued a detailed advisory to all subordinate courts in the state to curb crowding within the court premises.
Among the legal measures to avoid overcrowding, the high court also asked the lower courts' judges to favourably consider the plea for exemption from personal appearance by accused, complainant and witnesses.
It also asked them not to insist upon any unnecessary presence of any party and not to pass an adverse legal order in the absence of a party.
"Courts should not insist on the presence of the parties unless it is unavoidable," the high court advisory said, adding district court administration would take appropriate measures to regulate entry of litigants and general public in the court complex to avoid crowding.
The lawyers may also advise their clients not to visit courts unless their presence is directed by the court, the HC circular said.
In criminal cases, the courts were asked to resort to video-conferencing for necessary production of jailed undertrials for extension of their judicial custody and recording of evidence.
It also sought courts to take measures to avoid overcrowding in lock-ups.
The HC circular also directed subordinate judiciary administration to ensure full sanitisation of the court premises through twice-a-day mopping with the requisite chemical disinfectant of courtrooms and chairs, tables and furniture in them, besides the door nobs, hand-railings etc.
In a bid to curb the spread of the deadly virus, the high court has asked subordinate judiciary administration to arrange for through scanning for visitors to the court premises by trained paramedical personnel.
The high court has also banned the holding of any function including elections etc to avoid crowding of courts.
The high court has also scheduled a full bench meeting of the court through video conferencing on March 17 to discuss further measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The meeting will be attended by the chief justice of the high court as well as all judges of its Jodhpur and Jaipur benches besides all law officers, including advocate general, additional solicitor general and members of the bar.