Only virtual hearing of cases in all courts in T.N., Puducherry

‘Physical hearing and hybrid option shall remain suspended’

All courts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry stopped physical as well as hybrid modes of hearing cases and commenced only virtual hearing from Monday owing to the spurt in Omicron variant of COVID-19 cases. They also began receiving case papers only through e-mail or drop boxes placed on the court complexes.

The Madras High Court had last week decided to revert to physical hearing of cases from Monday. However, a notification issued by the Registry on Sunday night stated Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari had decided against commencement of physical hearing by taking the present COVID-19 scenario into consideration.

The notification said not only the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai but also its Madurai Bench and all courts in the State as well as the Union Territory should conduct their proceedings through the virtual mode alone. “Physical hearing and hybrid option before all honourable courts shall remain suspended,” it read.

Filing of case papers, returning the case papers to rectify defects, re-presenting them, making applications for order copies and receiving those copies could be done through e-mail alone and in exceptional cases, these processes could be made through the respective counters or drop boxes provided for the purpose, the Registry said.

Making it clear that strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocol must be followed while undertaking such exercise at the court complexes, the Registry stated that the latest arrangement would be in operation until further orders.

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