In the light of a Nationwide Coronavirus Lockdown announced on 24th March 2020 by the Government of India as well as the Government of West Bengal, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the court has issued further instructions vide Notification No. 1506-RG.
Instructions for Extremely Urgent Matters during Coronavirus Lockdown
Following the lockdown, the lawyers, litigants, etc will not be able to physically attend any court proceedings. Therefore, the Court has issued that “court proceedings of extreme urgent matters may be conducted via video-conferencing through skype conference call”
The Advocate-on-record (AOR)/Party-in-person is required to file a scanned copy of the petition/application and documents along with Form A or Form B as is required through [email protected]
The documents should also include a prayer for “exemption from filing duly affirmed affidavit with an undertaking that deficit court fees will be paid within 48 hours of the Calcutta High Court opening and attaining normalcy.”
After all the required documents are submitted, the Advocate-on-Record/Party-in-Person will have to file a separate signed and verified application containing a synopsis of the extremely urgent matter and mail it to the above-mentioned email id latest by 2 pm on the day preceding the day of the sitting of Hon’ble Benches.
Instructions for the Filling of Applications during Coronavirus Lockdown
The application must contain
Contact details of the AOR/party-in-person; email-id, mobile number, alternate number, residence/office address, pin code and police station
A separate paragraph providing consent that the matter can be taken up in the video-conferencing mode.
AOR/Party-in-person must also specify whether he would link through his own desktop/mobile/laptop or use the facility in the High Court premises.
Skype contact details have to be provided in the application for video-conferencing
After the relevant cases have been approved by the appropriate benches for urgent hearing, a cause-list will be published on the website of the Hon’ble High Court under the ‘Notification’ column by evening hours on the day preceding the sitting of the concerned Bench or the very same day on the Leave of the Bench.
Further Instructions on Video-Conferencing during Coronavirus Lockdown
After the case(s) have been taken on board, the concerned AOR/Party-in-person will be provided with an intimation regarding the time of sitting of the Hon’ble Bench(es) and approximate time of the hearing of their case(s) on the mobile number and email id provided in the application.
The AOR/Party-in-person should keep the concerned mobile free during the indicated time as the High Court Registry will call on the shared mobile number when the matter is to be called for hearing through video-conferencing as per the cause list.
If the AOR/Party-in-person is not able to connect through video-conferencing due to non-availability of hardware or network on a given date, then the matter will be listed on the next date of the sitting of any Bench.
The video-conferencing facility will be made available to the concerned AOR/Party-in-Person in the High Court Premises if mentioned in the application. However, everyone is advised to “refrain from exercising the option of participating in the hearing through the Video-conferencing facility available at the High Court premises as that would entail unnecessary and avoidable travel through public spaces.”
The AOR/Party-in-Persons are requested to not send emails to any other mail id, other than the above-mentioned id.
The Registry will keep the offices open with skeletal staff only to hold the Hon’ble Bench for extremely urgent cases and facilitate all matters that may be connected to smoothly holding of such Hon’ble Bench, by video-conferencing or otherwise.
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