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COVID-19: Jharkhand HC Advises State To Refrain From Coercive Actions Against Individuals Until Threat Abates [Read Order]

21 March 2020 5:55 AM GMT
COVID-19: Jharkhand HC Advises State To Refrain From Coercive Actions Against Individuals Until Threat Abates [Read Order]
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The Jharkhand High Court on Thursday 'advised' the state authorities not to take any coercive actions against any individual so as to cut down litigation and consequent congregation of people, until the threat of COVID-19 pandemic abates.

A bench of Justices HC Mishra and Deepak Roshan pointed out that in the face of coronavirus, all the courts in the state had restricting functioning to hear urgent cases only. A similar approach was also expected from the state government, till the situation restored to normal. It said,

"All other activities of the State are also under similar stage of emergency and until such situation continues, unless the matter is very urgent, no coercive actions / orders should be issued so as to give fresh causes of immediate action to the persons affected. We accordingly, expect from learned counsel for the State to advise all Authorities in the State to avoid issuing such coercive actions / orders / garnishee orders, so far as practicable, at least till the situation normalizes and the regular Court works resume in the State of Jharkhand."

The order was passed in a writ petition seeking stay of the bank's garnishee order passed against the Petitioner.

It is pertinent to note that earlier the High Courts of Allahabad and Kerala had also issued similar orders directing the government not to take coercive action against any individual, in light of the pandemic threat.

However, these orders came to be stayed by the Supreme Court on Friday in Union of India v. PD Sunny & Ors., after SG Tushar Mehta submitted that restraining recovery proceedings will incentivize people to either delay payment of taxes or not pay any taxes at all.

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