Allahabad High Court Orders to Close Courts Due to Surge in COVID- 19 Cases

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Taking into account the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in and around the state’s capital, Allahabad High Court and its Lucknow Bench will remain closed until the 16th of August, 2020, starting from 12th August, 2020.

Background of the Issue

As the country is suffering due to the impact of the Novel Coronavirus, just like any other sector of the organization, the Judiciary and its functioning had been greatly affected due to the pandemic. It is to be noted that the number of cases filed in the July – August period in the High Court of Judicature in Allahabad has decreased to one fourth as compared to January 2020. Taking this issue into consideration, the High Court of Allahabad had issued various guidelines to resume functioning in this new normal, during the pandemic.

Submissions at the Court

Due to the rapid rise in Coronavirus cases at Prayagraj and Lucknow, the courts and other judicial institutions had been unable to go through and continue their daily work. To sanitize the court premises, the two benches were closed on the 10th of August, 2020. Also, on account of Janmasthami, the Court observed a holiday on the 11th of the same month.

Furthermore, as the 15th of August is celebrated as the Independence Day, it is a government holiday. Taking the status quo at hand, Hon’ble Justice Govind Mathur, the Chief Justice of High Court of Judicature at Allahabad directed a notice regarding the same on the 9th of August, 2020.

Observations of the Court

Given the present scenario, the High Court of Judicature in Allahabad had directed that all Judicial, as well as Administrative sections at the court, shall not function on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of August, 2020. Only urgent matters shall be considered by the Chief Justice in Allahabad and a Senior Judge in the Lucknow bench.

Further, no other bench would hold any sitting until the 16th of August, 2020. Having the backlog of the matters pertaining to the Fresh filing of cases, Stamp reporting (Criminal/Civil) in mind, these sections shall continue to function with the minimum number of staff until the same is cleared. However, it is said that there shall be no physical/e-filing of the cases from the 12th to the 16th of August, 2020.

The cases listed for the 12th and 13th of August, 2020 shall be taken up by the court on the 17th and 18th of the same month. Furthermore, the matters fixed on the 14th, 17th, and 18th of August, 2020 shall be taken up by the court on 25th, 26th, and 27th of August, 2020. The Constitution of Special Benches that were originally effective from the 5th to 14th of August, 2020 shall remain effective up to 21st of the same month.

The order dated 30th July 2020 shall be modified with the above changes, stated the High Court.


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