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Courts now open in stages, strict regulations apply

13 May 2020 / 14:51 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex here which previously handled selected cases following the Movement Control Order (MCO), is now open in stages while imposing tighter security control and thorough checks on visitors.

A check by Bernama found that the public and lawyers had lined up as early as 8am while adhering to the social distance regulation.

They were required to fill up a form with their personal details, reasons for entering the building and which court they are heading to, before they are allowed in.

The court management also prepared three entrances, one each for the public, lawyers and the press, with one counter allocated for the people to check registered cases.

Everyone will have their hands sprayed with hand sanitiser and their body temperature recorded at the lobby before being allowed into the building.

The same procedure was implemented at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya; as well as the Kajang and Selayang courts where Bernama reporters were on duty.

In the courtrooms, the benches were marked ‘X’ for every one-metre apart, and everyone was required to wear face masks, including judges, court officers, lawyers as well as the public.

Meanwhile, in the Appeals Court, counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who was present for a case, requested to take off his face mask before proceeding with his remark. “May I ask permission from the court to remove my mask. My glasses were already fogged,” he said, and was allowed to do so.

According to staff, the courtrooms will be opened in stages according to the turn of the magistrates and judges on duty.

“Only three rooms opened for the criminal High Court, while four and five rooms were available for the magistrate’s and criminal sessions court, respectively. Four and six rooms were also opened for the civil magistrate’s and sessions courts, and seven rooms opened for the civil and commerce High Courts,” he said.

Lawyer P. Chandran, who was attending a civil case, said the tight security imposed by the court management was crucial to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“We cannot simply enter the court and everyone must comply to the security measures to avoid transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that for civil cases, lawyers can request for a case management date online without having to come to the court.

Another laywer, Nurhanida Md Mukhtar and a visitor S. Thivyashini lauded the efforts taken by the court management, saying they had worked very hard in ensuring the public’s safety and containing the spread of the coronavirus. - Bernama

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