Interim court orders in Maha to continue till April 30: HC

Mumbai, Mar 26 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Thursday said all interim orders passed by courts across Maharashtra shall continue till April 30 in view of the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by the Centre to stem the spread of coronavirus.

A special bench of four judges headed by Chief Justice B P Dharmadhikari also said orders for eviction, dispossession and demolition of property passed by any court or authority in the state shall remain in abeyance till April 30.

The bench gave the ruling after taking cognisance of a letter written to it by a group of senior lawyers requesting for court hearings to be held via video-conferencing to ensure safe access to justice given the extended lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 spread.

Earlier, the Maharashtra government had announced a lockdown only till March 31 which has now got extended following announcement of nationwide clampdown till mid-April.

The letter by senior counsels Janak Dwarkadas, Rajani Iyer, Anil Anturkar, Mihir Desai and Gayatri Singh also sought modification of procedures to affirm, file, present petitions and to prioritise public interest litigations (PILs).

As the lockdown is now declared till April 14, 2020, normal working of this court at least till then is not possible.

'As local transport is shutdown, lawyers and litigants are finding it difficult to approach this court, the bench said.

'In this situation, we find it appropriate to continue all interim orders, which are operating till today (March 26) and are not already continued by some other courts/authority, shall remain in force till April 30, 2020, subject to liberty to parties to move for vacating the interim orders only in extreme urgent cases, the judges said.

Orders or decree for eviction, dispossession, demolition already passed by any court/Tribunal/Authority shall also remain in abeyance till then, the bench said. PTI SP RSY RSY