Over 80 people in India have so far tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with many others being placed in quarantine. Two people in the country have also succumbed to the virus.
The World Health Organisation has termed it a pandemic, and India on Saturday decides to treat it as a 'notified disaster'.
The Ministry of Health and the Government of Maharashtra have recently released advisories suggesting that people avoid public spaces and gathers. On Friday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced the closure of all theatres, gyms and swimming pools in several parts of the state. He also encouraged people to take precautions and avoid public spaces.
In light of these announcements, the High Court of Judicature at Bombay announced that the functioning of court in the High Court as well as its benches functioning at Nagpur, Aurangabad and the High Court of Bombay at Goa would be "restricted to urgent matters" for the next week, starting from Monday.
The Acting Chief Justice also announced that advocates, litigants and the involved parties could mention their matters and indicate the urgency before the relevant Court. The case would be heard only if the matter was deemed urgent.
All other matters would be given CMIS dates. Orders of Ad-interim and interim relief subsisting in the matter shall continue to operate, the Acting Chief Justice said.
The body also appealed to all Bar associations and advocates to restrict the entry of litigants, limiting it to cases where an individual's presence was a necessity in the Court.
"Advocates and Party in person are requested to provide number and stage of matter on daily board which they want to be taken up urgently to the concerned Court Sheristedar/Associate prior to 11:00 a.m," the notice added.
Globally the coronavirus has affected over 134,000 people and killed more than 5,000 people.
(With inputs from agencies)