After suspending functioning for a day to sanitise the High Court complex in the city on Tuesday due to “unavoidable circumstances”, the High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday decided to hear urgent cases only through videoconferencing while discontinuing the option of hearing limited number of cases physically in view of increase in COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru.

The judicial/non-judicial/administrative functions of the High Court’s Principal Bench in Bengaluru is suspended for one day, namely on June 30, for sanitisation of the entire High Court complex, due to unavoidable circumstances, said a first notification issued Monday late night.

The notification issued on Tuesday morning stated: “During the last few days, the number of cases in Bengaluru has been multiplying. Considering the safety of members of the Bar and the court staff, till further orders, physical hearing of cases at the Principal Bench of High Court at Bengaluru shall stand cancelled and only those Benches which are already notified for hearing of urgent matters through videoconferencing will function.”

The notification also stated that the High Court’s Principal Bench at Bengaluru and all other courts in Bengaluru urban and rural districts will remain closed on July 4.

Urgent cases, listed for hearing on June 30 before the Principal Bench, will be taken up for hearing on July 1 through videoconferencing, and the cases listed for July 1 will be taken up on July 2 and 3. Meanwhile, though provision for physical filling of cases with prior appointment will continue, the number of slots for physical filing would be reduced from next week, the notification added. However, the High Court’s Benches at Dharwad and Kalaburagi will function normally as per notified schedule.

Meanwhile, a special Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice B.V. Nagarathna has been reconstituted with Justice Aravind Kumar replacing Justice Nagarathna.

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