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Allahabad High Court today as a result of lockdown due to the threat of  Corona Virus (COVID-19), issued certain directions in continuation of directions under order dated 26th March, 2020.

A Bench of Justice Govind Mathur and Js. Siddhartha Varma directed that:-

(i) As per provisions of Section 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 the award in the matter other than international commercial arbitration is required to be made within a period of twelve months from the date of completion of pleadings under sub-section (4) of Section 23. The requirement of Section 29A of the Act is mandatory by nature. However, looking to the extraordinary circumstances, it is desirable to extend the period aforesaid.

Accordingly, it was directed that if in any arbitral proceedings the pleadings under sub-section (4) of Section 23 of the Act have been completed and the period of twelve months has expired or is going to be expired on or after 25th March, 2020 then the same stands extended upto 25th May, 2020.

(ii) It was brought to of the Court that  before enforcement of the lockdown different courts in the State of Uttar Pradesh including the High Court have granted orders to release the accused-applicants on bail but they have not been released so far due to non-availability of sureties.

Looking to impediments in arranging sureties because of lockdown, while invoking powers under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, the Bench deemed it appropriate to order that all the accused-applicants whose bail applications came to be allowed on or after 15th March, 2020 but have not been released due to non-availability of sureties as a consequence to lockdown may be released on executing personal bond as ordered by the Court or to the satisfaction of the jail authorities where such accused is imprisoned, provided the accused-applicants undertakes to furnish required sureties within a period of one month from the date of his/her actual release.

The softcopy of this order was asked to be sent to all concerned Courts and Tribunals; the learned Advocate General; the learned Additional Solicitor General of India; the learned Assistant Solicitor General of India; State Public Prosecutor and the Chairman of Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh.

-India Legal Bureau

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