Bombay HC Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and other judges of the Administrative Committee on Monday held a meeting and issued a circular stating that HC and its benches at Nagpur, Aurangabad and Goa and all district and magistrate courts across the state shall function as they are doing presently and would take up hearing on only extremely urgent matters.
The circular noted it was necessary to scrupulously follow guidelines issued by both Centre and state government on precautions to be taken by staff while working.
As per the circular, identity proofs of advocates and litigants shall be asked for at the entry points of all court complexes, a register will be maintained at these entry points and names of all entrants would be recorded.
It said no person shall be permitted to enter the court premises without wearing a mask, and any person showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 shall not be allowed to enter or remain in the court rooms.
To meet exigencies, an isolation room shall be earmarked for such persons.
"At the entry points of the court complex, liquid soap and water basin will be provided for hand wash and entrance of each court room, as far as possible, make provision of hand sanitizers," the circular said.
It is also advisable for all lawyers and litigants to download the Aarogya Setu mobile application, the circular said.
The circular further said necessary social distancing shall be maintained inside court premises, including court rooms and lifts and other departments.
"As far as possible, members of the staff, lawyers and litigants, who are young and not differently-abled, should be encouraged to use stairs instead of lifts for their own safety," it said.
"Judges and members of staff, in the unlikely event of having any symptoms of COVID-19, are requested to immediately report the same to the medical centre," the circular said.
Since the outbreak began, the HC and all other courts are working on skeletal staff, hearing only extremely urgent matters through video conference.