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Courts in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry to hear only urgent cases from June 1 to 11

The Madras High Court has also advised the trial courts to conduct proceedings through video conferencing as far as practicable and to restrict the entry of lawyers and litigants into the court premises

The Madras High Court has decided that only “extremely urgent” cases shall be heard by it and all trial courts across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry between June 1 and 11 in view of the COVID-19 situation. The court has also advised the trial courts to conduct proceedings through video conferencing as far as practicable and to restrict the entry of lawyers and litigants into the court premises.

According to a notification issued by Registrar General P. Dhanabal, the first Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy would continue to hear cases that had been assigned to it till June 11. Apart from this, two more Division Benches and three single judges would be available to hear the rest of the cases and the composition would keep changing every three days.

A similar arrangement had been put in place for the Madurai Bench of the High Court. However, in a separate notification meant for the trial courts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the Registrar General stated that cases should be entertained only if they were accompanied with reasons explaining the urgency involved and that it would be the prerogative of the judicial officer concerned to take a call on the issue.

“Physical service of summons and witnesses may be deferred, and staff strength is to be maintained at the minimum level to meet the exigencies,” the notification read.

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