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Allahabad High Court suo moto issued directions by exercising jurisdiction under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India to ensure that citizens are not deprived of their right to approach the Courts of law. Matter was taken up at residence by Hon’ble Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal so that litigants should not suffer due to their inability to approach Courts of law.

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, an address to the nation was made by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on 24th March, 2020 declaring nationwide lockdown for a period of 21 days. A consequential order dated 24th March, 2020 came to be issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. As per the address of the Hon’ble Prime Minister and the order of the Home Ministry dated 24th March 2020, stringent measures were to be implemented from midnight of March 24 which will make it difficult for citizens to approach Courts of law and take recourse to legal remedies.

Considering the same, Court was held today at the Chief Justice’s Home Office at 10:30 AM and following directions were issued:-

(i) All interim orders passed by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad as well as at Lucknow, all the District Courts, Civil Courts, Family Courts, Labour Courts, Industrial Tribunals and all other Tribunals in the State over which High Court has power of superintendence, which have been expired subsequent to 19th March, 2020 or are due to expire within a period of one month from today, will continue to operate upto 26th April, 2020. We, however, make it clear that those interim orders which are not of a limited duration and are to operate till further orders will remain unaffected;

(ii) If Criminal Courts in the State have granted bail orders or anticipatory bail for a limited period which are likely to expire in one month from today, the said orders will stand extended for a period of one month from today

(iii) If any orders of eviction, dispossession or demolition are already passed by the High Court, District or Civil Courts, the same shall remain in abeyance for a period of one month from today

(iv) As it will be practically impossible for the citizens to approach the Courts for redressal of their grievances for a period of 21 days specified in the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 24th March 2020, hope was expressed that the State Government, Municipal Authorities and the agencies and instrumentalities of State Government will be slow in taking action of demolition and eviction of persons.

Along with publication on official site of UP High Court, the soft­copy of the order was sent to all concerned Courts and Tribunals, Advocate General, Additional Solicitor General of India, Assistant Solicitor General of India, State Public Prosecutor and Chairman of UP Bar Council.

-Gurjot Singh 

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