Covid-19: Bombay HC extends interim orders, stays demolition, eviction till May 7 | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: A full bench of Bombay high court on Friday extended till May 7, the validity of all interim orders passed the HC and lower courts as on April 9, 12,13 and those to expire on April 19.
The HC said, “The second wave of the pandemic, arising out of Covid-19 virus, has been wreaking havoc just as the first wave did in the year that went by..” The HC passed the order at a special hearing of a suo motu litigation , in the wake of the state’s April 13 “Break The Chain” order to combat the “alarming” situation. “with exponential rise in active cases and “to protect the interest of all those who have been or are disabled to access justice.”
The state’s “various emergency measures, seek to prevent and contain the spread of the virus” and these “together with other restrictions imposed… rendered it difficult to conduct judicial proceedings in this Court as well as the courts/tribunals in the districts/talukas in the physical presence of advocates, litigants and other stakeholders, and with the full complement of officers or staff,”” said the HC. The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justices Amjad Sayed, S S Shinde and P B Varale said, “As an obvious consequence, access to justice has been hindered. “
Barring courts in Goa, proceedings before HC benches across Maharashtra were suspended till April 18 except for “extremely urgent matters.”
Parties affected by continuance of interim orders will be at liberty to apply for vacating or variation of such orders. The HC also directed that “conditional orders of any court/tribunal/authority allowing occupation of any premises subject to payment of rent or occupation charges will continue, notwithstanding the non-deposit of rent or occupation charges between April 9, 2021 and May 7, 2021. “
Also, failure to deposit rent “ will not immediately make the tenant or occupant liable for eviction till May 7” directed the HC.
The HC also said any order for eviction/dispossession/demolition which might have been passed by any court/tribunal/authority subsequent to April 9, 2021 shall remain in abeyance till May 7, 2021, unless directed otherwise in the meanwhile.
The HC also said it is “desirable” for BMC other bodies to stay its hands against “removal of encroachers without notice”.
The HC is also to continue its virtual proceedings till May 7 with limited benches and hours and to hear very urgent matters.
HC issues new SOP to say:
All Courts shall continue to function in one shift and take up remand, bail and urgent criminal and civil matters w.e.f. 19.04.2021 with judicial working hours of 2 1/2 hours.
The Principal District and Sessions Judges / Heads of the Establishment may take the decision to entrust the aforesaid work to requisite strength of Judicial Officers with 50% strength of staff, by rotation.
The Principal District and sessions Judges may adjust the working hours of shift having regard to the local situation / condition.

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