Punjab and Haryana HC extends all Interim orders until June 30 and issued Directions due to increase in COVID cases[Read Order]

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The Bench added interim orders or directions by the High Court or any subordinate Court, meant to operate till further orders, would remain in force till modified, altered or vacated by a specific order.

The Bench also extended till June 30 the time for filing written-statement or “return” in any suit or proceeding pending before any Civil Court or any other forum, unless specifically directed. The direction would not preclude the parties from filing such written-statement or “return” before June 30.

The orders of eviction, dispossession, demolition, so far unexecuted, would also remain in abeyance till June 30. Interim protection given in anticipatory bail applications by the High Court or Court of Sessions for a limited period was also extended till June 3021. Any party aggrieved by the conduct of the accused was given the liberty to move the Court for discontinuation of such interim protection, if case of any prejudice. The Court concerned would be entitled to take independent view of the matter.

Interim bails granted under Section 439, CrPC, specifying an expiry date, were also extended, subject to the accused not abusing such liberty. Parole granted to a person by order passed by a Court was also extended.

The Bench also made it clear that the State governments, Union Territory of Chandigarh, or any of its departments, local bodies or any other agency and instrumentality would not take action for eviction and demolition of any property over which a citizen, a person, a party or body corporate has physical or symbolic possession as on today till 30th June, 2021.

The banks or financial institutions were also directed not to take action for auction of any property till June 30.

The time for compliance of orders, requiring performance of a particular thing or carrying out certain direction in a particular manner, was also extended. Senior advocate Anupam Gupta was appointed amicus curiae. Among others, Additional Solicitor-General of India Satya Pal Jain, Punjab Advocate-General (AG) Atul Nanda, Haryana AG Baldev Raj Mahajan, Additional AG Deepak Balyan, UT senior standing counsel Pankaj Jain and additional standing counsel Namit Kumar were present during the proceedings.

HC observations

—The matter has been taken up suo motu following alarming increase in the Covid-19 pandemic and the grave situation that has arisen.

—Litigants are not able to get in touch with counsels, who are finding it difficult to prepare files and get the matters listed at an early date.

—The situation demands that adoption of certain measures to ensure control over generation of litigation for some time during the crisis. 

Read Order here: