Rajasthan High Court Temporarily Suspends the Proceedings Since Court’s Staff Got Infected by Coronavirus

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Amidst the recent case of COVID-19, the Rajasthan High Court decided to stop the functioning of the Court. The incident took place on 9 July after an employee of the Court tested COVID 19 positive.

Facts of the Case 

The Court decided to take this action after the personal secretary of the HC judge tested positive form the virus. The secretary had come in direct contact with many Court staff forcing a suspension of all work at court. This happened after the Court decided to resume normal proceedings. The decision to resume was a result of the relaxation in the lockdown. But, this incident signifies that the threat of COVID 19 hasn’t passed yet.

Although the Court carried out the normal functioning with proper social distancing and hygiene measures, it failed to safeguard itself from the virus. Moreover, COVID-19 safety protocols existed for all Court activities and hearings. Not only this, but the Court was hearing only the most important cases during the lockdown.

Arguments

The counsel stated that this is the second time the bench suspended the work since Rajasthan Courts reopened on June 29. Almost 90 percent of the 224 employees at the Court did not come on the first day after the re-opening when two Court officials tested positive. Now, samples of all Court employees were taken.

All the Courts in Rajasthan reopened on June 29, since they were closed to contain the spread of COVID-19. All lawyers above 65 have told to address through video conferencing. Moreover, to check the crowd, not more than five people can enter the courtroom. An e-pass is now compulsory to enter the HC in Jaipur and Jodhpur. There is a two-layer thermal scanning in place for all lawyers. There are almost 22,000 cases of Coronavirus in Rajasthan with 4,700 active ones and 482 deaths.

Court’s Observation

The Registrar-General of the Rajasthan HC has notified the suspension of the Court work. The Court premises are being shut in light of the same. In the meantime, there will be sanitization of the entire Court premises. The Court observed that several members of the HC staff in direct contact with the person are now patients of COVID-19.

Decision

After assessing the facts, the Court suspended the proceedings at the principal bench of the Rajasthan HC. Thus, Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court will get closed till further orders.


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