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Bombay High Court on Thursday taking Suo Moto Cognizance in emergent pandemic situation considering the outbreak of COVID-19 and Nationwide Lockdown ordered for all the interim orders passed by the Bombay High Court either at Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji or any subordinate Courts expiring before 30th April will continue to operate till 30th April.

Four Judges bench of headed by The Chief Justice took cognizance when the orders passed by High Court of Delhi, Kerala and Karnataka regarding extension of Interim Orders has been brought to their knowledge.

A letter has been received by the Bombay High Court on Thursday written by five Senior Advocates, Mr. Janak Dwarkadas, Ms.Rajani Iyer, Mr.Anil Anturkar, Mr.Mihir Desai and Ms.Gayatri Singh requesting to address various issues in view of outbreak of COVID-19 relating to allowance of e-filling, hearings through video conferencing and grievances of poor to be given priority, etc.

Whereas, on enquiry the Registry informed the court that matters are being entertained even if presented directly even without affidavit or court fee, no procedural issues and objections are being raised, e-filing facility is already available and video conferencing arrangements are available since last one week.

Court said, “As the lock down is now declared till 14.04.2020, normal working of this court at least till then is not possible. As the staff is not available, files cannot be made over to court. as local transport is shut down, lawyers and litigants are finding it difficult to approach the court. In this situation, we find it appropriate to continue all interim orders which are operating till today and are not already continued by some other courts / authority including this court and the same shall remain in force till 30.04.2020, subject to the liberty to parties to move for vacation of interim orders only in extreme urgent cases.”

“Orders or decree for eviction, dispossession, demolition already passed by any Court/Tribunal/Authority shall also remain in abeyance till then”, said Bombay High Court.

“Considering the prevalent shut down 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”, it added.

-Gautam Mishra 

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