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COVID-19 Lockdown: Orissa High Court Begins E-Filing Of Cases

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has introduced e-filing and hearing of cases through video conferencing in view of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown aimed at containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Kumari Sanju Panda took a decision to this effect on Wednesday and from Thursday the Video Conferencing Scheme-2020 was made effective.

The high court observed that the scheme has been formulated with the aim to ensure citizens have access to justice during the ongoing nationwide lockdown.

The 21-day lockdown from March 25 was imposed by the central government to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Read: COVID-19 Outbreak: Odisha First State To Extend Lockdown Till April 30

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With this scheme, litigants, as well as lawyers, can file cases, appear and argue cases from their home through video conferencing and they need not visit the court.

The bench also said litigants should not visit the court for obtaining the copies of its orders.

“The court orders, uploaded in the high court website, can be downloaded and they shall be treated at par with the certified copies,” the high court said.

The provisions of the scheme shall remain in force from April 9, 2020, till the exigencies arising out of COVID- 19 persists.

However, the high court may extend the period and scope of applicability of this scheme with such amendments, the high court said.

On March 23, Orissa High Court had directed to suspend hearings till March 31. Apart from suspending hearings, the HC also had ordered the closure of subordinate courts.

Furthermore, Orissa HC had clarified that the urgent matters can be mentioned before the Deputy Registrar (Judicial) through WhatsApp message or video call. As per the orders, only one advocate/prosecutor will be allowed to remain present in the court to represent their concerned parties, said the order. The order was released in view of avoiding gathering in courts during hearings of urgent matters.

(With Agency Inputs)

Also Read: Lockdown Impact: Orissa High Court Suspends Hearing; Subordinate Courts To Remain Closed

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