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March 17, 2020

Coronavirus: IHC, district and special courts stop hearing of regular cases

Top Story

March 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Keeping precautionary measures against coronavirus, Islamabad High Court (IHC) crisis management committee on Monday decided to stop hearings of regular cases in IHC, districts and special courts till April 5.

The Islamabad High Court crisis management committee has decided that only cases of immediate importance will be heard in district and special courts till April 5. According to a notification released by the IHC, cases for bail and remand of prisoners will be heard by judges in prisons and hearing of civil cases was suspended. It is to be noted that amid fears of the coronavirus spreading in the country, government had pleaded with the courts to suspend hearings of ongoing civil cases.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed implementation of preventive measures on urgent basis to minimise the spread of the contagion COVID-19, on its premises and to minimise the threat to the litigants, judges, staff as well the lawyers.

Similarly, in order to take stock of the preventive measures at high courts, district courts level, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed has called emergency meeting of the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) on Thursday, at Supreme Court Islamabad to discuss the issue at length and devise effective strategy for the courts.

Meanwhile, as a part of additional precautionary measures, litigants represented by their counsel have been advised to avoid entering on Supreme Court premises to escape overcrowding. However, respondents and in-person petitioners/ parties may attend the court as and when summoned. In the Supreme Court Building, wash basins, along with liquid soap dispensers, have been installed at all entry gates so that people can enter into the building after washing/cleansing their hands.

Similarly, fumigation has been done to dis-infect the building; however, biometric attendance of the staff has been suspended. Likewise, Medical Staff has been deputed at all entry points to monitor the temperature of every person regularly through Infrared Thermometers while entering in the Supreme Court Building.

Furthermore, employees have been advised to wash their hands properly prior to joining their work or after receiving any file or document and avoid shaking hands/physical contact with office colleagues and use face masks. Several sanitizer dispensers have been installed in the building.