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19 March 2020

COVID-19 effect – Court restrains government from taking coercive measures – Recovery proceedings deferred

Taking note of the extraordinary situation in the country due to pandemic Corona Virus (COVID-19) which calls for an extraordinary measure to be taken, the Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court has directed that all the concerned competent authorities, both administrative and non-administrative, under the State Government be issued directions restraining them from taking any coercive measures against any person or body of persons in the society so as to force him/them to approach the Court for the redressal of grievance.

The Court directed deferment of all recovery and auction proceedings till 6-4-2020 and also restrained the authorities from issuing any directions for presence of any person till 6-4-2020. It stayed, for a period of two weeks, i.e., till 6-4-2020, any demolition exercise carried out at the instance of any authority under the State Government/local bodies, and eviction or dispossession exercise against anyone.

The Court in this regard took note of the,

  • Advisory of the Ministry of Health, Government of India in respect of social distancing,
  • Circular issued by the Supreme Court for hearing of only urgent matters and discouragement of non-essential visits to the Court,
  • Order of the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court approving the recommendations made by the Committees constituted for prevention and remedial measures for combating the impending threat of coronavirus, and
  • Advisory of Information and Public Communication Department, U.P.

The Court was of the view that ‘self-quarantine’ should be encouraged amongst people in the society in particular and the country in general.

Following directions were issued:

  • “All the recovery proceedings at the end of the district administration, financial institutions and other administrative bodies/authorities/agencies and otherwise at the end of the instrumentalities of the State shall be deferred for a period of two weeks i.e. till 6-4-2020.
  • All the auction proceedings, if any pending or initiated in the meanwhile, shall remain deferred for a period of two weeks i.e. till 6-4-2020.
  • The District Magistrates and the Administrative Authorities are also restrained from issuing any directions for presence of any person or persons in connection with any pending or any other proceeding for a period of two weeks i.e. till 6-4-2020.
  • No demolition exercise shall be carried out at the instance of District Administration or any authorities under the State Government/local bodies for a period of two weeks i.e. till 6-4-2020.
  • No eviction or dispossession exercise against anyone be undertaken for a period of two weeks i.e. till 6-4-2020.”

Copy of the Order dated 18-3-2020, was directed to be sent immediately to the Registrar General for forwarding same to the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to ensure its compliance by issuing necessary directions/circulars to all the concerned authorities in the matter throughout the State within 48 hours.

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