In the context of an order passed by it for relaxing the ban on two wheeler vehicles amid the lockdown, the bench of Acting Chief Justice S. Panda and Justice Biswanath Rath of the Orissa High Court has clarified that its direction for release of seized vehicles by obtaining undertaking from motorcycle users thrice is applicable to Senior Citizens and Handicapped persons only.
On Thursday while addressing the issues related to the lockdown, the bench had observed that until availability of essential commodities at "walkable distance" is ensured by the state, absolute ban on vehicles is not justifiable.
Accordingly, it had directed that vehicles already seized by the Police be released by obtaining undertaking from the persons concerned, from which such vehicles are being seized, that he/she shall not utilize the same any further. Further, it was directed that such vehicle will be released at least thrice without imposing fine and only on above undertaking.
Clarifying this order, the bench has intimated that the direction is applicable only to the "Senior Citizens and Handicapped Persons" so as to enable them to purchase the essential items.
This is in the backdrop of assurances given by the Advocate General and the Addl. Government Advocate that adequate vending zones have been made for available for Grocery, Milk and Vegetables within walkable distance in residential areas, in both Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
The bench observed,
"The matter is taken up today on the basis of the memo moved by learned Advocate General and Mr.D.K.Mohanty, learned Addl. Government Advocate for clarification of the order dated 09.04.2020. It is submitted that adequate vending zones have been made for availability of Grocery, Milk and Vegetables in Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation as well as Cuttack Municipal Corporation within walkable distance in residential areas. Considering the above, it is made clear that the order dated 09.04.2020 regarding obtaining undertaking from motorcycle users thrice is applicable only to the senior citizens and handicapped persons so as to enable them to purchase the essential items."
The court has further clarified that the Police authorities will give relaxation in mobility of the Doctors and Health Workers also, on production of their identification and certificates.
It has also cautioned that its orders must not be construed as complete lifting of the ban.
Case Title: Bijaya Kumar Ragada v. State of Odisha & Ors.
Case No.: WP (C) No. 9095/2020
Quorum: Acting Chief Justice S. Panda and Justice Biswanath Rath
Appearance: Petitioner in person; Additional Government Advocate for Respondent
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