KOLKATA: In order to increase the workload in the high court and at the district level, the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court has ordered an increase of the number of functional courts and final hearings of matters, upon consideration of the recommendations of its COVID committee.
Four division benches including one headed by Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan will continue functioning as at present, apart from the four regular single benches, Calcutta High Court Registrar General Rai Chattopadhyay said in a notification issued on Friday.
In addition, two other single benches will sit three days a week to take up writ petitions and if upgraded internet connectivity is available, a further single bench may be added, she said quoting the order of the Chief Justice.
Urgency applications need no longer be filed and all matters filed will be placed before the relevant benches in chronological order, she said in the notification.
In final hearing matters, both before the division bench and the single bench, physical hearing will be permissible or the hybrid mode may be adopted as long as the number of lawyers in court in a particular matter does not exceed six or seven at any given point of time, the Chief Justice ordered.
However, the virtual mode will continue to be the preferred mode, particularly at the motion and the interim stage, he ordered.
Matters pertaining to the Circuit Bench at Port Blair will continue to be heard on Wednesdays as at present, Chattopadhyay said.
Upon consideration of the recommendations of the COVID Committee of the high court, Chief Justice Radhakrishnan said that attempts should be made to increase the workload both in the High Court and at the district level.
The Chief Justice ordered that more employees be encouraged to report to the high court and to the district courts and staff assigned duty on a roster basis, if they fail to attend should be marked absent and be deemed to be on leave.