To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Jammu Kashmir High Court on Thursday suspended its functioning as well as of district and subordinate courts till April 14.
A circular issued by Registrar General of HC, Sanjay Dhar, says that Chief Justice, Gita Mittal, has taken note of the order issued by the Government of India (GoI) by which a nationwide lockdown has been declared for a period of 21 days with effect from Thursday, March 26.
The circular says that access to all court complexes of the union territories of JK and Ladakh, including the High Court complexes at Srinagar and Jammu would remain closed during the period of lockdown.
It says the matters of extreme urgency pertaining to the HC will have to be mentioned before the concerned registrar judicial and after seeking necessary orders from Chief Justice of HC, the hearing will take place from the residence of Judges through video conferencing.
The Principal District and Sessions Judges are also being directed to make arrangements for hearing of any exceptionally urgent Civil and Criminal matters through video-conferencing from the residences of the Judicial Officers, who would be designated by the concerned District and Sessions Judge for the purpose.
It further directs to strictly comply the orders and instructions of the GoI and JK government regarding social distancing, restrictions, precautions, quarantine, isolation etc
Judicial officers, officers and staff of the registry and the staff of the district courts were directed to remain available at all times at their respective residences to deal with any business of emergent nature.
"Any urgent business would be transacted on the virtual mode," it says.
On Tuesday this week, Supreme Court of India adjourned the hearing on matters listed for March 25 in wake of a 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.