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Kerala High Court to remain closed till April 14 amid COVID-19 crisis


The court will remain open for considering certain emergency cases such as sentence suspension, custody, hubeas corpus, bail andanticipatory bail on Thurdays and Fridays.
ERNAKULAM: Following an alarming rise in cases if COVID-19, the Kerala Government on 23rd of March shut down all the Bars, and imposed stringent curbs in the most affected district, Kasargod, according to reports.

The Kerala High court will remain closed till 14th of April.
The state has so far been one of the most cases with coronavirus. While bars have been ordered shut, liquor shops run by the government will function as of now, barring those in Kasargod.

Thirty-nine more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Kerala, surpassing the previous high of 28 cases, raising concerns in the state administration. Even more worrying for both Kerala and Karnataka has been the sudden surge in the number of positive cases in Kasargod. Of the 39 persons tested positive on Friday, 34 were from Kasargod.

“This shows the situation in Kasargod is serious and, we have to further strengthen our steps,” chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in Thiruvananthapuram.
Out of the 38 persons, 25 came from Dubai, and the rest got the infection from others, the chief minister said.

The total number of Covid-19 in Kerala recorded so far has gone up to 176, out of whom 12 have recovered. Out of the 38 new cases, 34 are from Kasaragod, 2 from Kannur and one each from Thrissur, Calicut and Kollam districts, Health Minister KK Shailaja Teacher tweeted.

Karnataka has fortified all entry/exit points between Mangaluru and Kasargod, to prevent any influx of people from Kerala.

As of 28th March 2020, there are 182 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 1,15,000 people are under surveillance in the state. The cases were reported from travellers coming from China and Italy and their contacts.Many precautions are taken by the government to control the disease from spreading. Exams have been postponed, including the final school board exams, and all educational institutions will remain closed until the disease is wiped out. The government announced complete shutdown of the state from 23 March till 31 March. Public transport will not operate during this period, and public gatherings are restricted.[6] A stimulus package of Rs 20,000 crore (€2.5 billion) has also been announced. On 28 March, a 69 year old man from Mattancherry, Ernakulam who had a travel history to the Middle East, became the first person to die of Covid-19 in Kerala.

Directives were issued the other day to avoid gatherings near court premises as a precautionary measure. Only the people concerned and advocates were asked to be present. Apart from the employees, nobody else will be permitted in the court.
On Monday morning, Advocate General and representatives of the Advocates Association handed over the Chief Minister’s message to the Chief Justice, which stated that the court would have to be shut. It was following this that the court was closed temporarily. The court will go on summer vacation after April 8.

Alcohol sales contribute a part to the state revenue. With tourism and lottery remittances also hit, because of the pandemic, the state exchequer will likely suffer a significant loss.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan met his cabinet colleagues on Monday and is expected to announce more measures soon, according to a senior state government official.

Local reports also said thousands of police personnel were deployed in Kasargod on Monday, as people came out on street in large numbers despite the curfew. Section 144, that prohibits gathering of four or more, was imposed in Kasagod and Kozhikode on Sunday night.

In Kasargod, as public transportation was shut down, and borders are sealed off. Local reposts, quoting district officials, more curbs may be imposed including a complete lockdown.



This week’s next sitting would be on Thursday. A request madeby the President Kerala High Court Advocates Association to entertain public interest petition emergent in nature by constituting special bench was also agreed.
The decision, which will come into force from March 24, was taken during a full-court meeting today.

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