New Delhi, May 2: The Delhi High Court on Saturday decided to restrict its and the district courts’ functioning to urgent matters only till May 17, in view of the extended lockdown announced by the Centre in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to government data, the novel coronavirus has so far infected 37,336 people and claimed 1,218 lives in the country. 

The Administrative and General Supervision Committee of the High Court, headed by Chief Justice D N Patel, decided that the restriction would be in place till May 17 and only urgent matters would continue to be heard via video-conferencing, PTI reported. 

The administrative order said the progress of hearing urgent matters in the high court has been tremendous and all the courts in Delhi, including the high court, have already dealt with more than 11,427 urgent matters after the announcement of the lockdown. 

“Initially, when the hearings started taking place through video-conferencing, it was confined to extremely urgent matters. However, with the experience and after taking regular inputs from the Bar, presently, all the urgent matters of all kinds are being taken up by the Delhi High Court as well as the courts subordinate to it. The mentioning in High Court is exclusively through a two-tier weblink, a completely transparent mechanism, which ensures contentment for all,” it said. 

The mentioning of urgent matters will continue to be done through the web link. The mentioning will be available from 9 am to 10.30 am on all working days to further expedite the listing and hearing. 

The order said all the cases listed in the high court, including before the registrars and joint registrars, from May 4 to 17 have been adjourned to the corresponding dates between June 1 and June 15. The matters listed in the district courts during this period will also be adjourned and the information will be uploaded on their websites, the order said. 

It said initially, the video-conferencing was started with one division bench and one single-judge bench, and gradually, increased to two division benches and six single benches on all working days, and the number of benches can be increased depending on the workload. 

Earlier, the high court had on March 25 restricted its and the district courts’ functioning till April 14. It was then extended to May 3. 

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