Gujarat High Court Advocate Bar Association Requests for Resuming Court’s Physical Hearing 

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The Gujarat High Court Advocate Association urged for the resumption of the Court’s physical functioning. The President of the Association presented this urgency to the Chief Justice of High Court. Accordingly, they promised that adequate precautionary measures would be taken to avoid the spread of the Novel Coronavirus during physical hearings.

Issue

Adv. Yatin Ozha is the President of the Gujarat High Court Advocate Association. He had sent a letter to the Chief Justice Shri Vikram Nath of the Gujarat High Court. This letter requested the resumption of physical functioning of Courts. 

Discussion in Letter

In the letter, the Association mentioned that they put the agenda of physical hearing to vote. 800 members participated in a referendum. Consequently, almost 64% of these 800 members voted in favour that Courts should function physically. The remaining 36% of members voted for virtual hearings. 

In addition to this, the letter stated that almost 2,400 lawyers practise in the Gujarat High Court. Of these, around 1,800 lawyers expressed their desire for the physical functioning of a Court. A panel of judges will decide on the precautionary measures that must be taken to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Reasons for Physical Hearing

The Association stated various reasons to substantiate their request for resuming physical functioning. They put forth that the Government of Gujarat has allowed various activities to resume after phase 4 of the lockdown. These include the functioning of all commercial activities. Additionally, it includes malls and various hospitality sectors. However, it excludes places of worship. In this regard, the association also mentioned that:

“The State Government has itself thought it fit to open up commercial activities. The Government has thought this after 2½ months. Thus, finding the present period to be now safe. It is urged that Lordship may be kind enough to accept the request of the Bar.”

In addition to this, the letter mentioned how the Government was starting to open up its Executive offices. To illustrate, it stated that the Government has decided to open up the State Secretariat. Consequently, it argued that more number of people visit the Secretariat from one district than the number of people that visit the High Court from all the districts. Thus, the Lordship may resume physical functioning. The Court shall implement necessary precautions that they may deem fit. 

Supporting Arguments

In concluding his request, Mr. Yatin Ozha pointed out the lecture of an eminent doctor Mr. Urmam Dhruv. He spoke on the topic of the physical opening of Courts. In his lecture, he suggested various measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19. In conclusion, he stated that the physical hearings can start in Courts without increasing the risk of COVID-19.

Thus, the association requested the High Court to resume its physical functioning as soon as possible.


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