In a case registered suo moto, a Full Bench of the Kerala High Court has extended the subsistence of all the interim orders passed by it and the courts subordinate to it till April 14.
The order has been passed by a bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar, Justice CK Abdul Rahim and Justice CT Ravikumar in WP (C) 9400/2020, detailing its applicability on bail matters, anticipatory bail, etc.
Vide another Order issued by Registrar General, the previous order for hearing only urgent cases has been withdrawn and it has been decided the High Court will remain closed till April 14. The Order states,
"Taking into consideration the decision taken by Government of India, guidelines issued by the competent authority under the National Disaster Management Act, vide Notification No: 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 24.03.2020, the difficulties expressed by the Bar, Public, Staff and other stake holders involved in the justice delivery system to attend Office/Courts, in the absence/restrictions of public/private transport system, it is decided that the functioning of the High Court shall stand shut down forthwith until the 14th of April 2020. The notice of even number dated 23.03.2020 stands withdrawn. It is also informed that regarding Bail, Anticipatory Bail and matters where extension of interim orders passed by all Courts/Tribunals, a detailed order has been passed in suo motu Writ Petition (Civil) 9400/2020 by a Full Bench of this Court on 25.03.2020 which will be uploaded in the website of High Court of Kerala."
Both these orders have been passed in the backdrop of inaccessibility of Courts due to the outbreak of COID-19 pandemic and the consequent imposition of a National Lockdown.
Pertinently, a Full Bench of the Calcutta High Chad also passed a similar order yesterday, extending the operation of interim orders.
In view of the inability of litigants to access the courts, the Supreme Court has also asked all the courts and Tribunals across the country to extend the limitation period with effect from March 15, so as to ensure access to justice.
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