‘Temporary premises to be designated for producing accused first time after arrest’

A separate premises will be temporarily designated as court of the metropolitan magistrate for Bengaluru city only for the personal production of all accused persons first time after their arrest to avoid closure of entire courts complexes when accused persons test positive for COVID-19 subsequent to their production before the jurisdictional courts.

The State government has identified a separate hall in the city for production of accused persons first time after their arrest. The High Court would designate metropolitan magistrates only for deciding on remand applications of such accused, Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka of the High Court of Karnataka told advocates on Wednesday.

The Chief Justice was presiding over a Division Bench along with Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty while hearing a PIL petition, suo motu initiated by the court to find solutions for various legal and technical issues that have cropped up for conducting court proceedings owing to COVID-19.

Earlier, the Chief Justice pointed out that a few judicial officers were put on quarantine in Ballari and Bengaluru city after police personnel and an accused person tested positive for COVID-19 following their visit to courts.

Mayo Hall court complex was closed for a couple of days for sanitisation last week and two judicial officers were put on quarantine after an accused tested COVID-19 positive, the Chief Justice said while pointing out that a police officer who had symptoms of COVID-19 had visited a court in Ballari for submitting a report and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the closure of the court and quarantine of the judicial officer.

A police constable attached to an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court, Mayo Hall complex, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the Chief Justice said.

Later in the evening, the High Court issued a notification on closure of Mayo Hall court complex on Thursday and Friday.

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