The Calcutta High Court will function in the virtual mode from January 3 in view of the threat of the imminent third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and alarming rise in the number of coronavirus cases, Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava ordered on Saturday.
The administrative order, which was notified by the high court registrar general, said that hybrid mode of hearing of cases will be allowed only in respect of bail matters where public prosecutors will be allowed to be physically present with case diary and in other matters where government and other advocates are to produce or tender documents in court.
“The Court proceedings shall be through virtual mode only” in view of the threat of the imminent third wave of the Covid pandemic and also the alarming rise in the number of Covid cases, the order said.
It said that trial of suits by witness examination will be suspended.
The same system will be followed in the circuit benches of Jalpaiguri and Andaman and Nicobar Islands and district courts, it said.
After the second wave of the pandemic subsided, hearing of cases had been allowed in the hybrid mode, wherein lawyers were permitted to appear either physically or virtually.
West Bengal, which is witnessing a sudden spurt in Covid-19 cases from the beginning of this week, recorded 3,451 infections on Friday with Kolkata alone accounting for 56 per cent of them.
While the state’s fresh infections had shot up by 62 per cent since Thursday, the metropolis’ new Covid cases increased by 79 per cent.