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Central Govt Standing Counsel Writes To Delhi HC, Seeks Suo Moto Cognisance Of Markaz Nizamuddin Incident

Karan Tripathi
1 April 2020 9:21 AM GMT
Central Govt Standing Counsel Writes To Delhi HC, Seeks Suo Moto Cognisance Of Markaz Nizamuddin Incident
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Central Government Standing Counsel Gaurang Kanth has written to the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, calling the holding of religious congregation at Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid at Nizamuddin West, Delhi, a blatant disregard of the notification issued by the government.

As per the reports that have been coming in, the aforesaid religious congregation was attended by more than 2000 people (which included foreign nationals from various countries including China, England, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Dubai and Saudi Arabia).

Mr Kanth, who himself is a resident of Nizamuddin East, has called this incident deeply disturbing and alarming.

In his letter, he has informed the Chief Justice that the said religious gathering was organized in violation of the order dated 16th March 2020 issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Delhi Government, in accordance with the Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

Moreover, he has written, that these gatherings were also in violation of another order issued by the Office of the Commissioner of Police, New Delhi which was effective from 18 March 2020 wherein assembly of 5 (five) or more individuals was prohibited.

He also submits that the officers were not aware of such a large gathering taking place in Nizamuddin East.

'However, despite the said orders being in place, the congregation could still be conducted shows carelessness and gross negligence of the State government and other officials including the District Magistrate – South East in handling this emergent situation at the Nizamuddin area' the letter states.

He further writes that being a Central Government Standing Counsel, he requires requisite permission from the Central Government for filing an appropriate writ petition before this court on this issue.

However, the court can take suo moto cognisance of the situations and facts mentioned in his letter and pass appropriate press orders, directing for:

  1. taking appropriate action against the concerned officials for fatal negligence at the Nizamuddin area for contributing to the spread of COVID-19 across the country by failing to prevent such religious congregation;
  2. to take action against the organizers and participants of this religious congregation for compromising the safety of people and contributing to the spread of Corona Virus; and
  3. immediate action and remedial measures to be taken for curtailing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Nizamuddin area

He has also stated that the lapse of duty shown by the State Government machinery is inexcusable and unpardonable.

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