Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court on April 6 directed all courts across the country to extensively use video-conferencing for judicial proceedings. The apex court also said that the congregation of lawyers and litigants must be suspended to maintain social distancing amid coronavirus pandemic. SC has also urged all the High Courts across the country to adopt Video Conferencing as a method to conduct its functioning.
In accordance with the direction, justice delivery in Orissa High Court went online. Since March 23, the court has disposed of more than 5000 cases amid limited functionality due to COVID-19 lockdown. The court has been functioning with limited benches for the safety of lawyers, litigants and staff from the spread of COVID-19, said an official communique from Orissa High Court.
It added that for several cases lawyers and litigants appeared from the confines of their homes and/or offices and even from outside the State. The lawyers were given the provision of filing the cases physically or through mails.
Till date, the High Court has held 27 division benches and 126 single benches. 5141 cases, including 1955 criminal matters and 3186 writ and civil matters, have been decided in the benches by hearing through video conferencing, said the letter.
As of now, the High Court is functioning with one division bench on alternate days (Tuesday and Thursday) and seven single benches every working day. The limited functioning is likely to continue for some time now.