In view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation, the Bombay High Court on Thursday continued all interim orders passed by various courts across the state till December 22. The orders for eviction, dispossession and demolition, already passed by courts across Maharashtra and Goa, will remain in abeyance until December 22.
A four-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justices A A Sayed, S S Shinde and K K Tated was hearing suo motu petition and other pleas seeking relaxation of the HC order that put a stay on demolition, eviction or dispossession during the pandemic. The court refused to relax the interim stay amid the pandemic.
The court clarified that parties are at liberty to seek vacation of interim orders by making an application before the appropriate court, only in extremely urgent cases.
The bench was also hearing an interim application filed by Yash Developers stating that it was involved in a redevelopment project under Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) at Borivali, which had nearly 585 slum dwellers and while most of the occupiers had vacated their homes, 33 refused to do so.
The developer said that it had approached the SRA, which, prior to the lockdown, conducted hearing of all 33 occupants and was about to pass orders. However, due to interim stay put by the HC, it refrained from passing orders of eviction and demolition against occupant.
In a relief to 33 slum dwellers, the HC while allowing SRA to pass orders related to their eviction, stated that implementation of the order would be subject to the interim orders it has passed from time to time. The bench said the SRA or any other public authority shall not take any steps to enforce such order without obtaining HC’s prior leave and posted further hearing to December 21.
The court said, “Although the situation in the state of Maharashtra because of the pandemic has improved over the last few days, access to the courts of law is yet not free. To ensure that persons suffering orders of dispossession, demolition, eviction, etc, passed by public authorities are not inconvenienced by reason of disability to approach the courts of law because of the restrictions as to movements imposed by the state government as well as the requirement to maintain social distancing norms, we consider it just and proper to extend the interim orders till December 22.”
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