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Dedicated Remand Court set up to serve during pandemic in Karnataka

In a unique move to contain the spread of COVID-19, the High Court of Karnataka has set up a specially designed Dedicated Remand Court (DRC) at Guru Nanak Bhavan in Bengaluru exclusively for physical production of arrested persons to avoid taking them to regular court complexes for production before the jurisdictional magistrates.

“All safety measures for the physical production of arrested persons/undertrial prisoners is taken care of at the DRC. This will facilitate [their] safe production in compliance with the High Court’s COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure and the guidelines issued by the government authorities,” the Registrar-General of the High Court said in a statement.

The separate court premises for personal production of accused has been set up to avoid closure of regular court complexes for sanitisation and the need for quarantining judicial officers and court staff if accused persons test positive for COVID-19 subsequent to their production in court. Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka recently told advocates during a hearing that the government had identified space for setting up a temporary court premises for production of accused persons for the first time after their arrest.

Recently, a court complex in Bengaluru city was closed for sanitisation twice and a few other court complexes in a couple of districts were also closed for sanitisation after the accused and the escorting police personnel tested positive after their visits.

The interior of the DRC has been designed to maintain safe distance between people by dedicating separate transparent enclosures for the judge and the stenographer, other court staff, the advocates and the police, and the accused persons.

Whenever arrested persons and undertrials are required to be produced before the court physically for hearing and passing orders on pleas for remand or bail, the designated Chief Metropolitan Magistrate/Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate/Metropolitan Magistrate will hold a sitting in the DRC, the Registrar-General stated.

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