Taking note of the likelihood of continuation of Red Zone COVID-19 restrictions in and around Patna beyond May 3, a full bench of the Patna High Court on Thursday passed a slew of directions for the extension of interim orders till May 18.
The following are the directions issued by a bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh and Hemant Kumar Shrivastava :
(i) Unless directed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in any particular matter, all interim orders passed by any Court/Authority/Tribunal in Bihar under the power of superintendence of High Court of Judicature at Patna, be it of any nature, prior to 16th of March, 2020 shall stand automatically extended till 18th of May, 2020. Resultant hardship of an extreme nature, caused if any, to any one of the parties would entitle them to seek modification of continuance of such interim order(s), by moving an appropriate application in those proceedings wherein such interim order(s) stood issued by the respective Court(s)/Authority/Tribunal and this order would not come in the way of consideration of such application on merits.
(ii) All interim orders passed by the High Court of Judicature at Patna, all the District Courts, Family Courts, Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunal and all other Tribunals in the State under the powers of superintendence of the High Court of Judicature at Patna, which has expired subsequent to 16th of March, 2020 only for the reason that the matter could not be taken up on account of the Pandemic or are due to expire during the period of the lock down, i.e. upto 3rd May, 2020 shall be deemed to be in continuance till 18th of May, 2020.
(iii) However, we clarify that those interim orders which are not of limited duration/are to operate till further orders would not be governed by these directions.
(iv) The period for complying with any directions issued by this Court in any judicial proceedings or in any Civil Proceedings by the Courts/Authority/Tribunal under the powers of superintendence of the High Court of Judicature at Patna, including peremptory orders shall be deemed to have been extended up to 17th of May, 2020. No adverse order shall be passed or construed to have been passed for non-compliance of such directions directed to be complied with between the period 16th of March, 2020 upto 17th of May, 2020.
(v) All orders or decree for eviction, dispossession and demolition passed by any Court, Tribunal or authority, save and except Hon'ble the Supreme Court of India, shall continue to remain in abeyance, till 18th of May, 2020.
(vi) Considering the prevalent attending circumstances, unless essentially required in public interest, it is expected of the State not to precipitate any action till 17th of May, 2020 so as to compel the citizens to approach the Court for redressal of their grievances.
(vii) The period from 16th of March, 2020 till 17th of May, 2020 shall be deemed to have been excluded for the purposes of computing limitation stipulated under the Statute or for complying with judicial orders passed by this Court or the Subordinate Courts.
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