Bombay HC judge issues notice citing overcrowding in courtrooms amid COVID pandemic

Justice Gautam Patel also warned that if the norms were observed, his court would immediately suspend all physical hearings and go back to virtual mode.

Amid the surge of covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, one of the judges of the Bombay High Court issued a notice on Wednesday complaining of overcrowding in the court and directed everyone to strictly adhere to the social distancing norms.

Justice Gautam Patel also warned that if the norms were observed, his court would immediately suspend all physical hearings and go back to virtual mode.

Justice Gautam Patel issued the notice that was published on the high court’s website stating that he had noticed overcrowding in his courtroom and pointed out that people were not adhering to safety norms. Only those who had cases listed in his courtroom should enter and they must “strictly adhere” to safety norms, Justice Patel said in the notice.

The notice issued by Justice Patel said, “There is far too much overcrowding in Court Room number 37. Advocates and parties are not observing safety norms and precautions. For this reason, with immediate effect, only those who have matters in Court will be permitted entry. There may be a random check and those without matters will be made to leave.” The judge said that advocates and parties to the cases should come to court only in accordance with their time slots specified on the case list.

The Bombay HC had resumed physical hearings for almost all the cases since December 2020.

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