In view of the ongoing lockdown due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, a division bench of the Orissa High Court has extended all interim protections given by the high court or sessions courts, which are likely to expire on May 4, till June 18, 2020.
“Interim protection given in all the anticipatory bail applications by the High Court or Sessions Court for a limited period, which are likely to expire by today or has expired in the meantime, shall stand extended till 18th of June, 2020,” said the HC order.
The HC bench comprising Justice CR Dash and Justice SK Panigrahi has extended orders on eviction, anticipatory bail, interim bail, parole, demolition and dispossession till June 18.
As almost the entire police force is engaged in ensuring enforcement of lockdown across the state, the High Court’s advisory, which would be in force till June 18, comes as a relief. The High Court also asked police personnel not to be in a hurry to arrest the accused without complying with the provision of Section 41 (A) of the CrPC till June 18, 2020.
However, the court mentioned that it is not an interdict or a direction to curb the power of the police to arrest. Rather, it is an advisory issued in view of the present crisis. It has to be followed by the police so far as it is practicable and possible.
On the face of the crisis, we are sincerely concerned with the plight of the citizens and the litigants, the majority of who in our state are poor, the bench observed. It further stated that these people are not in a position to come to the court in such a situation to seek legal remedies and the HC also does not want a rush of litigants in the courts in contravention of the “Social Distancing” discipline.
“With a view to ensure that the litigants and citizens do not suffer on account of their inability to approach the court of law, we propose to invoke our plenary power under Article 226 and power of superintendence under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, our inherent power over the criminal matters under Section 482, CrPC, our power of superintendence over criminal courts under Section 483, CrPC and our inherent power over the civil matters under Section 151 of the CPC,” the order stated.
Senior Orissa HC advocate Sidharth Prasad Das told India Today, “It is a historic and timely direction of the Honorable High Court in the best interest of the litigants and the general public.”