The Kerala High Court has initiated the Suo Motu proceeding for extension of orders of stay granted by the high court and custody orders in respect of children issued by the family courts, which are due to expire or commence during the period of lockdown/covid restrictions, the life of all interim orders passed by all the Courts and tribunals falling under supervisory jurisdiction due to COVID-19.
In view of the surge in Covid-19 cases and lockdown declared by the Government of India and State of Kerala and taking note of the inconvenience faced by the litigants in approaching the courts for ventilating the grievances, a Full Bench of the Court in suo motu writ petition of 2021 passed a detailed order. The court also passed orders directing the State/Central/public sector undertakings not to take steps for recovery.
In Miscellaneous Applications in Suo Motu Writ Petition, the Supreme Court of India, taking note of the arguments advanced by the counsel, the impact of the surge of the virus on public health and adversities faced by the litigants in the prevailing conditions, while disposing of the applications, had passed the directions in that regard.
The three Judge bench of Chief Justice S.Manikumar, Justice A.Muhamed Mustaque, and Justice Shaji P.Chaly noted that the Test Positivity Rate in Kerala is 33.06%. Cases of Covid-19 are alarmingly increasing. Outbreak of the surge has certainly put the litigants, lawyers and even the functioning of the court in a difficult stage.
A Full Bench of the court resolved that all the proceedings in the High Court, as well as the courts in district judiciary would revert to virtual mode of hearing. On the administration side, appropriate directions have been issued as regards the monitoring of the entry of stakeholders and staff besides to adhere to all the Government Orders issued from time to time.
The court, after taking note of the surge in Covid 19 cases and the Test Positivity Rate, accepted the request to review the order passed after a month .
The court directed the registry to post the matter on 18.02.2022 and revived and extended the Interim order passed by the court on 19.05.2021.