Peshawar High Court closed after staff tested positive for coronavirus


The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has been closed until May 31 as some of its staff members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

However, two single-member benches will hear bail pleas only during the period, reporter said on Wednesday.

While announcing its closure, the PHC also made it mandatory for all staffers to submit an affidavit saying neither they nor their immediate relatives, including spouse, children, siblings and parents, and neighbours were diagnosed with or suspected of suffering from Covid-19.

According to a notification issued by PHC registrar Khawaja Wajihuddin, if employees fail to file the affidavit or those filed are found to be false, disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against them.

Though there was no official word on how many staff members are affected by the virus, official sources put the number at 11.

The sources added that the Covid-19 test results of seven staffers remained ‘inconclusive’, so they all would undergo test yet again.

Initially, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, the PHC had ordered closure of all courts in the province on March 24, while only few judges and essential staff was assigned duties to handle the cases of urgent nature, Dawn news reported.

From April 20, all high court judges resumed work at the principal seat and circuit benches.

A month ago, the high court had temporarily closed its writ branch after one of its staff members tested positive for the virus.

The branch hadreopened after the premises and all the files and documents were disinfected.

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