The resurgence of Covid cases has again started affecting the functioning of judiciary as two judges from the Punjab and Haryana High Court have tested positive. The High Court resumed partial physical functioning about a month ago.
Currently, Punjab and Haryana High Court has 47 judges against the sanctioned strength of 85 judges. After two judges of the High Court tested positive and four judges quarantined, the strength of working judges came down to 41.
High Court Registrar (Vigilance)-cum-PRO Vikram Aggarwal mentioned about the spurt that the High Court has been experiencing. “In the last couple of days, two Judges have tested positive for Covid and four more Judges have been quarantined. The families of all these Judges have also been quarantined. Many officials have also tested positive. The next few days seem to be crucial as Covid cases are steadily increasing,” said Aggarwal.
Almost a year back, the High Court restricted its functioning in view of the increasing Covid-19 cases. Initially, the court started hearing the cases through videoconferencing. But with these restrictions, the burden of pending cases kept on increasing.
After a period of one year the situation started improving and the judiciary decided to resume the physical functioning. But as per the currently available information the shift from virtual functioning to the complete physical functioning is likely to be delayed in view of the resurgence of Covid-19 cases.
As per the latest statistics, Punjab and Haryana High Court is at the second position for having the highest number of pending cases after the Allahabad High Court. There are 6,60,644 cases pending with Punjab and Haryana High Court, including 2,78,948 criminal matters involving life and liberty.
Among which almost 2,31,637 of the pending cases are 2 to 3 years old while 10,519 cases are pending with the High Court which are 20 to 30 year old. The situation is expected to get worse in the absence of new appointments and four more retirements of judges this year.