Calcutta HC proceedings nixed after court driver’s mother tests positive

This comes a day after the South 24 Parganas district court postponed its hearings indefinitely after the mother of a driver transporting court staff tested positive for COVID-19

The high court in a notification extended until May 31 the suspension of the regular functioning of all courts in the state.

The proceedings of the Calcutta High Court scheduled for Thursday (April 30) were cancelled citing “unavoidable exigencies”, a day after the South 24 Parganas district court postponed its hearings indefinitely after the mother of a driver transporting court staff tested positive for COVID-19.

A notification by the high court registrar general also recalled the sitting of division and single benches on May 4, 7, 12, and 15.

The official vehicles driver, whose mother has tested positive for COVID-19 and is being treated at a private hospital here, was engaged in transporting the skeletal staff of the District Judges Court in Alipore and some staff of the Calcutta High Court, the South 24 Parganas district judge noted in the order postponing the hearings.

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In view of the lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the Calcutta High Court has been hearing urgent matters only through video conference to avoid crowding in courtrooms and the premises.

Citing “unavoidable exigencies”, the high court administration said that the Chief Justice has ordered that there will be no court proceedings on April 30.

It said that from May 1, apart from the division bench to be presided over by the Chief Justice, there will be two division benches and one single bench for taking up extremely urgent matters on such dates as may be notified.

Registrar General Rai Chattopadhyay said that the sitting of the division benches and single bench will be notified two days before the date of sitting of the court.

The hearing of cases by a special bench scheduled on Wednesday at the South 24  district court was postponed indefinitely after the drivers mother tested positive for COVID-19, an order by the district judge said.

The driver was also engaged in transporting some of the staff of the Calcutta High Court, a senior official said. “The matter has been placed before Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan,” the high court official said.

The officers, staff and others who had been in direct or indirect contact with the driver of the vehicle have been asked to go on quarantine till his test report is received, the order by the district judge of South 24 Parganas, Uday Kumar, said.

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