The Punjab & Haryana High Court has raised alarms over the accumulation of COVID-19 norms violation cases, fearing it will burden the criminal courts.

In the ongoing case, "Court on its own motion v. State of Punjab & Ors.," the Court noted a significant backlog of cases under Section 188 of the IPC related to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Acknowledging the exceptional circumstances during the pandemic, the Court expressed worry that the pending cases might strain the judicial system. In response, the High Court directed both the States of Punjab & Haryana and U.T. Chandigarh to submit a status report on the number of pending cases registered between 15 March 2020, and 28 February 2022. The Court is considering using Article 226 of the Constitution to quash proceedings and alleviate the burden on criminal courts. This directive reflects the court's proactive approach to streamline the legal process and address post-pandemic challenges efficiently.

Reference: Court on its own motion v. State of Punjab & Ors. (pending), case no: CWP-PIL-29-2021 (O&M).

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