The Madras High Court has issued notices on a PIL seeking for directions to the government to immediately notify and convert private colleges and their hostels, as makeshift hospital and isolation wards to accommodate the migrant workers and road side dwellers, as a measure to contain the COVID-19 spread.
The order passed by the bench of Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar has asked the state to file its counter in the matter within 2 weeks.
Pertinently, the national lockdown has triggered an industrial standstill, making the social distancing policy impossible, both physically and economically, for persons working in unorganized sector as well as for road side dwellers.
Pointing out these issues, a similar petition was also moved before the Supreme Court for direction(s) of nationwide acquisition & conversion of hotels, resorts, guesthouses etc. to shelter homes, quarantine centers & isolation wards.
However after assurances given by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta disposed of the petition while remarking, "People are coming with millions of ideas; cannot hear everyone".
It is also essential to note that last month, during operation of a one-day Janta curfew, the Madras High Court had come to the rescue of poor and shelter-less and had directed the Government to utilize Community Halls, Marriage Halls and Schools to provide food and shelter to the underprivileged.
Case Title: P. Suryaprakasam v. State of Tamil Nadu & Anr.
Case No.: WP No. 7425/2020
Quorum: Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar
Appearance: Advocate ML Ravi (for Petitioner); Additional Advocate General PH Arvind Pandian (for State)
Click Here To Download Order