Bombay HC
Bombay HC
File Photo

Two months after the Bombay High Court resumed physical hearings for majority of cases, one of the judges issued a notice on Wednesday complaining of overcrowding in the court and directed everyone to strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety norms.

Justice Gautam Patel issued the notice that was published on the high court's website stating that he had noticed overcrowding in his courtroom, and pointed out that people were not adhering to safety norms.

Only those who had cases listed in his courtroom should enter and they must "strictly adhere" to safety norms, Justice Patel said in the notice.

The judge further stated that if safety norms are not followed, his court will have to suspend physical hearings and revert to virtual proceedings.

"If these minimal precautionary measures are not observed, the court will immediately suspend all physical hearings and revert to online hearings in all matters," the notice reads.

The high court had suspended physical hearings in April, 2020, and began conducting hearings for urgent matters through video-conferencing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It subsequently began a combination of virtual and physical hearings, and in December last year, the high court resumed physical hearings for almost all cases.

Currently, all courts in the high court function on full capacity and hear all cases through physical hearings from Monday to Thursday.

On Fridays, some courts conduct virtual hearings for cases where the lawyers or parties are not based in Mumbai, or if they request specifically for virtual hearings.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal