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Delhi courts may reopen from September. The court hearings were on halt due to the pandemic situation all over the world. 

It’s been almost five months, and the court restricted itself to the virtual hearing due to the continuous rise in the number of covid-19 cases in Delhi. Now they are planning to resume their function. 

Delhi court has announced that they may resume their on-site functioning at all the district courts in Delhi as well as high courts will also reopen from September 1 on a rotational basis.  

The reopening of courts is being done on an experimental basis. The reopening of the courts in Delhi would depend on the availability of public transport and the current covid-19 situation in Delhi. 

On Tuesday, a panel of seven judges set up by the chief justice of India had held a detailed discussion on the possibility of resuming the virtual court hearings. 

The panel has agreed to hold the open-court hearing thrice a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)from September onwards. They have chosen these three days because Monday and Friday are the days when new cases are taken up.

According to sources, the courtrooms will be restricted to only three or five. 

The high court decided to resume open-court hearings, which will begin with only one-fourth of the court’s capacity, in terms of judges and benches.   

Earlier, the high court had decided to restrict district courts and its functioning and hearings until August 14, but now the administrative and the general supervision committee of the high court has extended the restriction till August 31.  

A senior registry officer told that the panel of judges had met and discussed with the bar leaders and senior medical experts to know the details of Delhi’s current situation. The decisions regarding the reopening of courts have been taken, keeping the senior medical officers’ suggestions in view.

Since March 25, the top courts have been holding proceedings only on urgent and essential matters via video conferencing.  

All the government issued guidelines, and social distancing will be followed during the virtual hearing of the court.

Some changes will also be made to the interior of the courtroom if needed. Glass partitioning will be done in the courts; extra chairs will also be removed. Only two lawyers will be allowed in a case, and no junior counsel will be permitted inside the courtroom. 

Open-court hearings will be held for half a day because some medical experts also joined the meeting, and they are against the long working hours of court. They expressed their concern over wearing masks for an extended period of time and said that masks shouldn’t be worn for over three hours. 

The panel decided to hold a half-day open-court hearing between 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. based upon the panel meeting. 

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