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India: The Functioning of the Indian Judiciary amidst Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

March 23, 2020

In the wake of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country, the motto everyone is practicing these days is called ‘Social Distancing’. The Indian Judiciary is nowhere behind. It is taking various rigorous steps to combat the impending threat of Coronavirus.

Supreme Court bars physical entry

Supreme Court of India vide a public notification barred physical entry in the Court premises and further decided to hold all urgent hearings vide Video Conferencing. It also ordered sealing of the chambers of lawyers by evening of March 24, 2020 and would work out a system by which lawyers can argue cases from home.

Delhi High Court shuts till April 4, 2020

In view of the lockdown in the city and in furtherance to prior steps taken, the Delhi High Court vide a public notice today declared that the functioning of the Delhi High Court as well the Courts subordinate thereto is suspended till April 04, 2020. It further stated that in case of any fresh matter of extreme urgency, the Registrar/Joint Registrar (Filing) and Registrar/Joint Registrar (Original) of the Court can be contacted telephonically. And the hearing of such matter would be through video conference.

The Court also stated that ‘Lockdown/suspension of work’ of Courts shall be treated as “closure” within the meaning of the Explanation appended to Section 4 of the Limitation Act, 1963 and other enabling provisions of the Act and other Statutes, as may be applicable to court proceedings.’

Supreme Court: Period of Limitation for filing in all Courts/Tribunals stands extended with effect from March 15

The Hon’ble Supreme Court took account of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and resultant difficulties that may be faced by litigants in filing their petition/ applications/ suits/ appeals etc., within the period of limitation prescribed under general law of limitation or under special laws (both Central and/ or State).

In order to obviate the above difficulties and to ensure that lawyers/ litigants do not have to come physically to file such proceedings in respective Courts/ tribunals across the country, including Supreme Court, it was ordered by the Apex Court today in the Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No(S). 3/2020 that period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under General or Special Laws, whether condonable or not shall stand extended w.e.f. March 15, 2020 till further order/s are made by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in this regard. It was also declared that the said order is a binding order within the meaning of Article 141 on all courts/ tribunals and authorities.

Read more legal updates about Coronavirus via clicking on our links below:

India: Hearings at the Trademark Registry adjourned till April 15, 2020

FSSAI: Imported food, poultry safe from Corona Virus in India

Coronavirus and Force Majeure Clause in Contracts

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