"Persons, who have completed their quarantine period and have tested negative cannot be further detained in the Quarantine Centers against their wishes. It would be in violation of personal liberty under Article 221 of the Constitution of India."
The Allahabad High Court on Saturday directed the State of Uttar Pradesh to constitute a three-member Committee in every district so as to ensure that persons who have completed their Quarantine period and have tested Covid-negative are released forthwith.
The direction was passed in PIL moved by Delhi-based lawyer Shaad Anwar who pointed out that the members of Tablighi Jamat, who had completed their quarantine period, were not being released by the state.
The bench comprising of Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Saurabh Shyam Shamshery directed,
"we direct the State Government to ensure that the persons, who have completed their quarantine period be released forthwith from the Quarantine Centers provided they have tested negative and there is no legal impediment in releasing them. We, further direct the Chief Secretary, State of Uttar Pradesh to set up a three members committee in every district to ensure smoother, greater and more effective functioning of the Quarantine Centers."
The court has clarified that the Committee will not only supervise the functioning of the Quarantine Centers but will ensure also that such centers are properly maintained and administered.
The Committee will also be responsible to provide help, assistance, guidance in the wake of difficulties and problems faced by the persons, who are quarantined and further ensure that the persons, who have completed quarantine period, are released forthwith provided they have tested negative after completing quarantine period and there is no legal impediment in releasing them.
The bench observed that these measures were crucial to ensure that the right to life and liberty of individuals, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, are preserved.
"Due to prevailing outbreak of Covid-19, large members of persons including migrant workers, are quarantined at different places in the State of Uttar Pradesh. They are required to be released as soon as quarantine period is over. As a guardian of the Constitution, this Court has a duty to interfere whenever there is an abuse of power or usurpation of a right conferred by the Constitution. Persons, who have completed their quarantine period and have tested negative cannot be further detained in the Quarantine Centers against their wishes. It would be in violation of personal liberty under Article 221 of the Constitution of India," the bench observed.
As regards detention of members of the Tablighi Jamat, the state had informed the Court that all the 3001 Indians, who were the members of the Tablighi Jamat and were quarantined, had been released after completing the quarantine period.
On Friday, the court had asked the Government to apprise it with the status of members of Tablighi Jamat, who were quarantined after their arrival in the state.
"3001 members (Indians) of the Tablighi Jamat, have been released by the State from the Quarantine Centers, however, 21 members out of them have been detained in Jail, as such, none of the members of the Tablighi Jamat are in Quarantine Centers," the State had submitted.
In view of this submission, clubbed with the failure of the Petitioner to furnish details of persons who according to him were wrongly detained, the court refused to pass any further directions on the issue.
However, it said that it would be open to the petitioner to ventilate its grievances in accordance with law before the appropriate forum in case he discovers later on that some members of Tablighi Jamat are still detained in the Quarantine Center despite completing the requisite period of quarantine.
Case Title: Shaad Anwar v. State of UP
Case No.: PIL No. 578/2020
Quorum: Justice Shashi Kant Gupta and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery
Appearance: Petitioner in person; Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal (for State)
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