Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus: Courts across Tamil Nadu to remain shut for three weeks following nationwide lockdown

Only urgent cases will be taken up for hearing either through video conferencing or in person

The Administrative Committee comprising top seven judges of the Madras High Court held an emergency meeting at the residence of Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi on Tuesday night and decided to suspend operations of all courts across the State for three weeks following a call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a nationwide lockdown to fight COVID-19.

It was notified that court work shall remain suspended in the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai, its Madurai Bench as well as all trial courts in the State with immediate effect and that urgent cases alone would be taken up for hearing either through video conferencing or in person after the lawyers and litigants make a mention to the court officials concerned.

“Entry to the High Court at Madras and Madurai Bench shall remain prohibited for three weeks from today or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” the latest circular said Registrar General C. Kumarappan and Registrar (Judicial) M. Jothiraman could be reached through their e-mail IDs: regrgenl@tn.nic.in and m.jothiraman@aij.gov.in.


Similarly, the Additional Registrar General and Registrar (Judicial) in the Madurai Bench could be reached through thamilj1968@gmail.com. Further ordering that entry into all trial courts in the State shall also be prohibited, the High Court directed the Principal District Judges to notify the e-mails through which litigants and lawyers could contact them for hearing of urgent cases.

In so far as allocation of portfolios for the judges during the period of suspension was concerned, the Administrative Committee made it clear that the weekly seating arrangements made by it for its earlier decision of restricted hearing shall continue and the judges named in that notification would continue to be available for urgent hearing of cases during the suspension period.

The Chief Justice also made it clear that until the situation normalised, all anticipatory bail petitions should be filed first before the jurisdictional principal district and sessions courts. Only if such petitions get dismissed by the district courts, should the lawyers and litigants approach the High Court, a circular issued on his instructions read.

Watch: What will be affected and what will we available during a lockdown?

Pointing out that public prosecutors in the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai as well as its Madurai Bench would find it difficult to obtain instructions from policemen spread across the State during imposition of prohibitory orders, the Chief Justice said, it would be far easier for prosecutors in district courts to obtain instructions from the local police.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:56:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/coronavirus-courts-across-tamil-nadu-to-remain-shut-for-three-weeks-following-nationwide-lockdown/article31159590.ece

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