A petition has been filed before the Madras High Court seeking transit of the residents of Tamil Nadu who are presently stranded in different parts of the Country due to "sudden announcement" of the nationwide lockdown.
The petition has been filed by ASA Umar Farook stating that around 600 residents of Tamil Nadu are stuck in Delhi. However, no facilities have been arranged by either the State or the Central Government for the welfare of such people and as such they are living in distress, without availability of food, medicines, etc.
"The Central and State Government, all of a sudden, announced the lockdown and implementation of Sec. 144, without facilitating any transit for those who have been stuck in far distance from their home town.
…Few people left with no other option, started to walk for miles to reach their hometown, in which few have died on their way back home. It is such an indigestible tragedy, misfortune of poor people and inaction on the part of the State Government," the Petitioner submitted.
He has contended that when people can be brought from abroad after medical testing by arranging a separate airplane, then why the state cannot arrange a similar mechanism for testing and repatriating the people stranded in different States across the country.
The Petitioner also pointed out that Uttar Pradesh Government took prompt steps to bring back around 4,000 of its residents from Delhi by sending private buses, and that the Tamil Nadu Government should also have taken the cue.
Thus, he has submitted that the state Government is duty bound, under Article 39 of the Constitution, to protect the lives of its citizens.
"Welfare state plays a key role in protection of its citizens. It's based on the Principles of the equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for good life. Therefore, the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its Citizens. This responsibility in theory ought to be comprehensive, because all aspects of welfare are considered and universally applied to citizens as a "right". Hence, the Respondents must take immediate action to transport and give proper guidelines to serve the basic needs like foods, medicine, etc.," the Petitioner submitted.
He has prayed the High Court to direct the Central and the State Government to immediately transit the natives of Tamil Nadu, who have tested "Negative" for the Corona infection, and are stranded in Delhi due to the lockdown.
He has also prayed for a direction to ensure that such people are provided with adequate means to lead a dignified life by ensuring the supply of food, medicines, etc.
Petition filed through Advocates A. Raja Mohamed V. Shahira Banu and A. Yousuff Imran.
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