With the constant increase in COVID-19 cases, Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka of the Karnataka High Court on Thursday appealed to advocates to opt for videoc onferencing instead of physically coming to the court, to avoid gathering on court premises.
Referring to the existing hybrid system of hearing petitions simultaneously through video conferencing mode and physical presence, the Chief Justice urged the advocates to make use of the benefit of the videoconferencing system introduced during pandemic.
He made this appeal during the hearing of petitions while presiding over a Division Bench, comprising Justice Suraj Govindaraj. He pointed out that in many cases, adjournments were being sought on the ground that advocates had tested positive. He said that many other High Courts were making enquiries with the High Court of Karnataka on using hybrid system of hearing.
On request made by a section of advocates to advance summer vacation to the courts, he said that it was not possible as only 12 working days remained before closure of the courts for summer vacation as dates for further hearing had already been assigned for the period. The courts cannot be closed when public offices are functioning despite rise in number of COVID-19 cases, he said.
He also made a written appeal to staff in all courts in Karnataka to get vaccinated as early as possible. He said it was necessary that all eligible staff, aged above 45, get vaccinated.