In light of the massive outbreak of Coronavirus(COVID-19) and owing to the stringent measures taken by several states in order to curb the spread of this pandemic, the Gujarat High Court decided to take up all ‘extremely urgent matters’ pertaining to both civil and criminal cases through video conferencing from 23rd March, 2020 to 31st March, 2020. However, the newly appointed division bench and the single judge will be taking up cases which were already scheduled for 23rd March and were decided to be taken up on the same day, physically in their respective courts. Matters recorded and accepted as urgent matters in the registry are to be heard via video conferencing as mentioned in the said notice.
A guide to the methodology for e filing and submitting soft copies was also provided by the High Court. As per the guide, the soft copies for the petition shall be emailed through the appointed advocate’s email address to email@example.com for civil matters and to firstname.lastname@example.org for criminal matters respectively.
Another important guideline mentioned in the guide stated that the payment of court fees and the filing of affidavit by the petitioner were not compulsory at present and shall be paid after the court resumes working normally.
All the pages of a petition were asked to be signed by the petitioner/ authorised agent along with the appointed advocate before scanning it in PDF format. Annexures would similarly be scanned in PDF format before sending it along with the petition. All the mentioned documents shall be presented before the court in hard copy as soon as the normal functioning of the court is restored. Even if a matter has been dismissed, all the documents for the same shall be presented before the court in hard copy after restoration of the normal working hours.
Further, a number of directions were also provided pertaining to video conferencing.
Judges will be working from their respective chambers during this period while all others would be working from home. One Division Bench for all civil & criminal matters and one Single Judge Bench for all civil & criminal matters would be nominated by the honourable Chief Justice.
All the judgements would be emailed or messaged to the respective advocates along with the zoom link in order to acknowledge the said pronouncement personally.