Interim court orders in State to continue till April 30, says HC

Eviction, demolition notices in abeyance

The Bombay High Court on Thursday extended interim relief granted in all cases under it till April 30, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak and consequent lockdown. It also said that all eviction, demolition or dispossession orders will remain in abeyance till that date.

It urged government and civic authorities to not take coercive actions that would force citizens to move court during this period.

Taking suo motu cognisance of a letter from five advocates, which said pleas filed by the poor and marginalised be given priority, the court said matters are being entertained without any court fee.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice B.P. Dharmadhikari and Justices A.A. Sayed, S.S. Shinde and K.K. Tated has been constituted to hear matters during the pandemic.

The court had received a letter from senior advocates Janak Dwarkadas, Rajani Iyer, Anil Anturkar, Mihir Desai and Gayatri Singh, requesting that it exempt the petitioner from being be present to sign and affirm the petition, particularly in case of public interest litigations on appropriate undertakings, and allow e-filing of petitions.

They also asked that petitions be heard be regularly through videoconferencing, and the grievances of the poor and marginalised are given priority and with sensitivity.

The Bench said, “The registry informs us that matters are being entertained even if presented directly in court without affidavit or court fee. No procedural issues/ objections are being raised. Facility of e-filing is already available and hearing through videoconferencing can also be availed, as that arrangement has already been made since about last one week.”

It said that urgent matters on request are being attended to, and parties can make request for urgent hearing through email or other modes. “Two courts are already notified for hearing such matters, the dates of sitting are also notified. The registry also informs us that in extreme urgent matters, even at the eleventh hour, parties can move court for appropriate interim order.”

Extending all interim relief orders till April 30, the court said, “All interim orders passed by this High Court at Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji as also all courts/tribunals and authorities subordinate over which it has power of superintendence expiring before April 30, shall continue to operate till then. It is clarified that such interim orders which are not granted for limited duration and therefore, are to operate till further orders, shall remain unaffected by this order.”

The Bench said that orders or decrees for eviction, dispossession, demolition already passed by any court/ tribunal/ authority shall also remain in abeyance till then.

It added, “Considering the prevalent shutdown and other issues, we hope that government as also municipal authorities and other agencies or instrumentalities shall also be slow in taking any coercive steps so as to drive the citizen to court of law in the meantime.”

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 5:23:09 PM |

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