As of now, the courts and other judicial offices have been looking only into urgent matters and working under reduced timings. However, on Monday, the Goa government noted that there is a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases across the state. Consequently, all courts, commissions appointed by the state and quasi-judicial authorities have been directed to resume functioning on a "normal basis" and instructed to ensure that COVID protocols are followed within the office premises.
Hygiene & social distancing to be maintained
The competent authorities of the respective courts have been directed to ensure social distancing, as the principal idea behind adherence to the COVID protocols is avoiding congestion and close contact. In order to doubly ensure that chances of contamination are nullified, the court cafeteria or canteen will not be allowed to stay open beyond office hours and the bar associations shall make sure that the bar rooms are not overcrowded.
Further, all courts and quasi-judicial authorities have been directed to regulate the entry of litigants and the general public within the premises to avoid a large and crammed gathering of people. As per availability, the facility of video conferencing shall be put to optimum use for the purpose of recording evidence.
Apart from these measures, the housekeeping agency and staff members have been asked to ensure that the court complex should be sanitised and disinfectants should be sprayed on a regular basis. All possible preventive and remedial course of action shall be taken to combat any impending threat of COVID-19.
As per reports quoting a government spokesperson, these instructions have been issued by the state to all the courts and quasi-judicial authorities. The list includes revenue courts, children's court, industrial court, administrative tribunal, labour court, RERA, Goa Human Rights Commission, Goa State Information Commission, Rent Controller, Deputy Director/Directorate of Panchayat and Mamlatdars/Joint Mamlatdars/Block Development Officers.
-With inputs from IANS