Guwahati: Amid an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases, the Gauhati High Court has capped the presence of junior staff to 50 per cent in all its affiliating benches and lower courts across Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh for the next two weeks from Tuesday.

Issuing a notification to this effect on Monday evening, Gauhati High Court Registrar General Raktim Duarah said there shall be restricted functioning with staggered roster in order to maintain social distancing.

The notice said 50 per cent of staff of the principal seat at Guwahati and outlying benches at Kohima, Aizawl and Itanagar, below the level of Administrative Officer (judicial), shall attend office alternatively.

“The same arrangement is to be followed in the subordinate courts of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh,” it said.

Officers and staff of all the courts must wear face masks covering the nose and mouth, it added.

“Entry of outsiders shall be strictly prohibited in the court preises, unless specifically directed by the concerned authority or unless personal appearance of a party is required in a judicial proceeding.

Also read: Assam: 16 Kumbh Mela returnees test positive for COVID-19

“No person, except the learned advocates/parties appearing in person who are to address arguments, shall be permitted in the courtroom,” the notification said.

The Registrar General said for urgent listing of matters in the principal seat at Guwahati, advocates may send mails at the respective court e-mail ids in the prescribed format.

“The subordinate courts of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh shall take up all matters through video conferencing except recording of statement u/s 164 and 313 of the CrPC, bail matters, zimma matters, temporary injunction matters, remand matters, etc,” Duarah said.

The notice also said that bar rooms in both the blocks and the canteen of the Gauhati High Court will remain closed.

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