26 Aug 2020 5:26 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday reiterated its concerns over the spike in Covid cases in the State and remarked that re-imposing a Lockdown may be the only plausible measure to curb the spread of Covid-19. "For the last several dates, we are being repeatedly assured of concrete steps being taken by the administration of various districts of the State to contain the spread...
The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday reiterated its concerns over the spike in Covid cases in the State and remarked that re-imposing a Lockdown may be the only plausible measure to curb the spread of Covid-19.
"For the last several dates, we are being repeatedly assured of concrete steps being taken by the administration of various districts of the State to contain the spread of COVID-19 but the manner and the rise this pandemic has shown in several parts of the State, it is evident that any step lesser than a lock down, would be of no help," remarked the Bench comprising Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar.
The observations were made during hearing of suo moto case dealing with the conditions of Quarantine centers in the state, and other Covid related issues.
On previous dates, the High Court had expressed deep concern over the manner in which the local authorities were dealing with the situation inasmuch as people were freely roaming about and gathering around public places.
"Somehow because of the Unlock, our people have got a wrong impression that they can now freely mix with each other and move around," the High Court had previously remarked.
It had also pulled up the State authorities for their failure to implement the social distancing norms in the state.
""Do gaj doori mask pehna zaroori" seems to be an empty shibboleth coined by the Government. Neither the Government is looking interested in implementing the rule that two individuals should remain two yards away and wear masks nor the people of our State are interested in following the above rule," the Court had remarked.
During the course of hearing on Tuesday, the High Court was "disheartened" by the rapid surge in number of Covid positive cases, especially in the districts of Lucknow, Kanpur Nagar, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Bareilly, Gorakhpur and Jhansi.
It was therefore constrained to remark that if locking people inside their homes is the only way to save their lives, then so be it.
"Law is meant for the people and if spread of virus COVID-19 can be contained by locking the people inside their homes, let it be, as it will not only save the lives of people in general but even will result in better use of government resources," the High Court opined.
It clarified that it did not doubt the Government's will to fight the contagion however, it was equally conscious that the measures being taken by the local authorities were not enough to avert the crisis.
"When we have to balance between bread and butter and life, the latter has to prevail. Food is for life to survive and not vice-versa. We do not think that a lock down for a fortnight would bring the economy of the State to such a halt that people would die of hunger," the High Court remarked while stressing on the need to impose a Lockdown.
It observed that in the present scenario, challans/ fine were being imposed on people only to let them go. Round the clock patrolling was being done in districts, but by insufficient police force.
Such measures, the Court said, not only consume public measure and machinery but reap "minimal results". Thus it suggested that "the best choice today is to close down things for a while though selectively, to force people to confine themselves to their homes."
Inter alia, the Court has directed the Chief Secretary of the UP Government to furnish the following information by the next date of hearing:
The matter is now listed for consideration on August 28.
Case Title: In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive Respondent
Case No.: PIL No. 574/2020
Quorum: Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar
Appearance: Advocates Gaurav Kumar Gaur, Rishu Mishra and SPS Chauhan (for Petitioner); CSC Purnendu Kumar Singh (for State)
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