Thiruvananthapuram

High Court shuts down till April 14

Arrest only in inevitable cases

The Kerala High Court has been shut down till April 14 in view of the countrywide lockdown. The decision was taken by a full court meeting held on Wednesday.

A full Bench led by Chief Justice S. Manikumar extended by a month all the orders of bail or anticipatory bail that may expire during the lockdown period.

The Bench made it clear that the right of personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 should not at any rate be infringed upon by the arrest of an accused except in matters where arrest is inevitable.

The court, however, made it clear that the directive would not be applicable to issues relating to public order and law and order and any action taken by the State to combat the current crisis. The State was at liberty to take decision in respect of heinous/serious offences.

In the event of an arrest, the constitutional obligation under Article 20(2) should be followed in letter and spirit, the court observed.

No coercive action

The court observed that it was expected that the State government, local self-government institutions, and PSUs would not take any coercive action, as the people had no opportunity to approach the court during the lockdown period.

Regarding the bail applications of convicts and undertrial prisoners, the court observed that a high-power committee could consider their bail applications.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 12:59:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/high-court-shuts-down-till-april-14/article31167191.ece

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