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Karnataka High Court extends deadline for disposal of cases
The court also decides to serve notices to the government and its agencies through email during lockdown
The Karnataka High Court (HC) has decided to extend the deadline for disposal of cases in district and trial courts by three months because of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation in the state.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindraj also asked the state and central government as well as statutory bodies to accept court notices through email due to the prevailing conditions.
"In many civil and criminal cases, the High Court of Karnataka has issued directions to the District and Trial Courts in the State for disposal of cases in time bound manner. Considering the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the High Court, the District and Trial Courts will find it difficult to meet the deadline fixed," the division bench observed.
It further added that "We therefore direct that wherever this Court has issued directions to the District and Trial Courts in the State to dispose of the cases within a specified time schedule and where time has expired or is likely to expire on or before 30th June 2021, for the time being, the time for disposal of cases stands extended by a period of three months from today. This direction will not apply to bail petitions," the HC said on 24 May 2021.
The court also waived all the office objections in all cases other than criminal cases covered by the order dated 12 May filed from 19 April 2021 till 30 June 2021 (both days inclusive).
The objections which are not waived are as under:
• Objection regarding non-payment of Court fee or insufficient payment of Court fee
• Objection regarding bar of limitation
• Objection regarding maintainability of the proceedings
• Objection regarding failure to furnish the second set of papers (only in case of Division Bench matters)
• Objection regarding non-compliance of Rule 3A of Chapter 10 of the High Court of Karnataka Rules, 1959
• Objection regarding non-compliance with the Circular dated 20 July 2019 in Criminal Petitions about the failure to serve the petitions in advance to the office of the State Public Prosecutor
• Objection regarding failure to annex the copies of impugned judgment/orders/impugned notifications/impugned endorsements/impugned communications
"All the cases where the objections raised are not covered by any of the seven objections enlisted above shall be registered for placing the same before the Court. We, however, make it clear that this order will not preclude the concerned Courts hearing the matters from directing the rectification of any specific objection which goes to the root of the matter and which prevents the Court from hearing the cases on merits," the HC said.
It was also clarified that "if any of the objections which are raised fall in the category of seven objections enlisted above, the cases will not be registered unless an order of posting before the Court is passed by the Court or unless the objections are rectified."
Given the Covid-19 situation, the court also took up the issue of the desirability of servicing of notice due to limited functioning of the courts to the State and Central governments as well as the statutory bodies and various statutory corporations to accept service by email.
The HC said that the Registrar (Judicial) will issue notices at respective email-Ids of those entities calling upon them to remain represented before the Court on 2 June 2021.
Additional Advocate General Dhyan Chinnappa submitted that he will file a list of such entities along with their addresses and email-Ids with the court officer by 27 May 2021. The matter will be next heard on 2 June.