Mumbai: Taking note of the hike in confirmed cases, the Bombay High Court, on Monday, has decided to cut short its working hours and reduce its work by 50 per cent till further notice. The HC which usually works from 11 am to 6 pm will, from Tuesday, work from noon to 2 pm i.e. for two hours.
This comes after the administration convened a meeting with Acting Chief Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and other senior judges of the HC. It then notified the modified timings, which are to be followed by the lower courts too.
“The HC bench in Mumbai as well as in Nagpur, Aurangabad and Goa will, from Tuesday, work from 12.00 noon to 2.00 pm until further orders. The Registry shall function from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm at all benches and by reducing working strength up to 50 per cent until further orders,” the notification reads.
“All principal judges in district, sessions and subordinate courts shall adhere to this notification. All the subordinate courts in Maharashtra shall also take up only urgent matters such as bail and anticipatory bail applications and pleas for urgent injunctions, remand orders, and so on,” it adds further.
In this two-page notification, ACJ Dharmadhikari has ordered principal district judges to decide the timing of the functioning of their courts as per the 'situation prevailing in their respective districts.'
“The principle idea is to avoid congestion and occasion of close contacts. However, they shall endeavour that the court working hours are not more than three hours in a day,” the notification reads.
“The judges shall also take steps for reducing the attendance of the staff members by about 50 per cent and utilise the staff alternatively. So that it will help in the de-congestion of courts,” the notification adds.
The administration has also ordered the bar associations across Maharashtra to ensure that the bar rooms are not 'crowded' and shall not be kept open beyond the office working hours.