Madhya Pradesh High Court extends interim orders till June 15

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday suo motu extended the interim orders passed by it and the courts subordinate to it till June 15 in view of the extraordinary situation on account of the surge in coronavirus cases in the state.

A large number of coronavirus positive cases are being reported from cities like Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior, and Ujjain. In fact, the disease has engulfed a substantial part of the state and has made inroads even into rural areas, said the bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sanjay Dwivedi.

The Court highlighted that it may take some more time for the High Court as well as District and Sub-ordinate Courts, Labour Courts and Family Courts in the state to resume normal functioning due to the ongoing unprecedented crisis. This has given rise to a situation where most of the litigants are not in a position to approach the courts. Though some of them may stay in touch with their advocates by telephone but a majority of them may not be in a position to contact their advocates.

Many of the matters which otherwise would have been listed forpassing appropriate orders, owing to the aforementioned reasons, are not being taken up by different courts.

Therefore, with a view to ensuring that the citizens of the State in general and the litigants before the courts in particular, do not suffer on account of their inability to approach the courts of law. The court proposes to invoke its extraordinary power under Article 226 and its power of superintendence under Article 227 of the Constitution of India and also inherent power over the criminalmatters under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, power of superintendence over Criminal Courts under Section 483 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and inherent power over the civil matters under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure and issue the following directions to remain operative in the first phase till June 15, 2021:-

(i) All the interim orders/directions issued or protectiongranted including any order requiring any compliance by theparties to such proceedings, passed by this Court or any otherCourt sub-ordinate to it or any Family Court or Labour Court orany Tribunal or any other Judicial or Quasi-Judicial forum inthe State of Madhya Pradesh, over which this Court has powerof superintendence, which was subsisting as on 10th March,2021, shall stand extended till 15th June 2021;

(ii) It is further directed that the interim orders or directions ofthis Court or any Court subordinate to this Court in the State,which are not of limited duration and were meant to operate till further orders, shall continue to remain in force untilmodified/altered/vacated by specific order of the Courtconcerned in a particular case;

(iii) The time for filing of written-statement or return in any Suitor proceeding pending before any Civil Court or any otherforum, unless specifically directed, shall stand extended till15th of June, 2021. It is however clarified that this will notpreclude the parties from filing such written-statement or returnbefore 15th June, 2021;

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(iv) It is further directed that the orders of eviction,dispossession, demolition, etc. passed by this Court or anyCourt subordinate to it or any Tribunal or Judicial or QuasiJudicial forum, which have so far remained unexecuted, shallremain in abeyance till 15th of June 2021;

(v) Interim protection given in the anticipatory bailapplications by the High Court or Court of Sessions for alimited period, which has expired or is likely to expire on anydate after 10th March, 2021, shall stand extended till 15th ofJune, 2021. However, any party aggrieved by the conduct of theaccused on such interim protection, may move the Court inseisin over the matter for discontinuation of such interimprotection, if any prejudice is caused to him/her, in which event,the Court concerned shall be entitled to take independent viewof the matter;

(vi) All the interim bail granted under Section 439, Cr.P.C. bythe High Court or Courts of Sessions, limited by time-framespecifying an expiry on any date after 10th March 2021, shallstand extended till 15th June, 2021, subject to the accused notabusing such liberty or else it may be cancelled at the instanceof the State or the complainant, on application with adequateproof of the abuse of the liberty so granted by the Courtconcerned;

(vii) Parole granted to a person anytime after 9th March, 2021 byorder passed by a Court exercising the criminal jurisdiction andlimited by time-frame specifying an expiry date, shall standextended till 15th of June, 2021.

(viii) Unless there is necessity of arrest for maintenance of lawand order situation, in a cognizable offence prescribingsentence up to seven years imprisonment, the police shall desistfrom arresting the accused up to 15th of June, 2021, withoutcomplying with the provision of Section 41A, Cr.P.C. Thishowever may not be understood as an interdict on the power ofthe police to arrest, but should only be considered mereadvisory in the face of the ongoing crisis following secondwave of Coronavirus;

(ix) The State Government or any of its Department or anyMunicipal Corporation / Council / Board or any GramPanchayat or any other local body or any other agency andinstrumentality of the State shall not take any action foreviction and demolition in respect of any property, over whichany citizen or person or party or any Body Corporate, hasphysical or symbolic possession as on today till 15th June, 2021;

(x) It is further directed that, any Bank or Financial Institutionshall not take action for auction in respect of any property ofany citizen or person or party or any Body corporate till 15thJune, 2021;

(xi) If the Government of Madhya Pradesh and/or any of itsDepartment and/or functionaries, Central Government and/or itsdepartments or functionaries or any Public Sector Undertakingsor any Public or Private Companies or any Firm or anyindividual or person is/are, by the order of this Court or anyCourt subordinate to it or the Tribunals, required to do aparticular thing or carry out certain direction in a particularmanner, in a time frame, which has expired after 10th March.

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The Court also issued notice of those proceedings to the State ofMadhya Pradesh through the Chief Secretary, Bhopal, throughAdvocate General and Union of India through the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi and the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, through the Assistant Solicitor General.
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