COVID-19: Partial relaxation in norms for litigants

The Karnataka High Court has on Friday decided to partially relax prohibition on the entry of litigants into the premises of its principal bench in Bengaluru from February 22 by permitting only those litigants having a certificate to enter from their advocates in the prescribed form.

The litigants, who are arguing cases on their own, will have to produce a hard or soft copy of their petition at the entrance, through Gate Number 5, to enter the court premises but they need to seek an appointment from the Registrar (Judicial) by email to enter the court premises to carry out rectifications in the petitions, stated a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the High Court by withdrawing earlier SOPs issued in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the production of a certificate from advocates in the prescribed format is not required for litigants to enter the court premises in the benches at Dharwad and Kalaburagi.

Any person found with the symptoms of COVID-19 at the entry points would be denied entry, and those violating the norms of maintaining physical distancing and wearing of face masks would be removed from the court premises by the authorities concerned.

A separate SOP has been issued for courts in all other districts and in Bengaluru by partially relaxing earlier norms. The new SOP states that the modification has been done based on the present status of the COVID-19 situation, and it would be reviewed in the first week of March.

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