The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to pass urgent directions in a PIL filed by residents of Bandra, Khar and Mahim seeking deployment of military or other armed forces like the CRPC in vulnerable and red zones in Mumbai. Petitioners cite the incident which took place at Bandra station on April 14 when hundreds of migrants gathered after inaccurate news reports of the railways starting special trains for migrants to take them to their native state surfaced.
Justice BP Colabawalla after hearing the matter via video conferencing observed-
"On going through the Petition, I do not find that any case is made out for any urgent ad-interim reliefs. All these directions, if required, can always be and passed by the Court as and when the normal court work resumes."
Petitioners contended that the incident was a "serious security lapse" and that they were "directly aggrieved" as they will be the first to be afflicted by the deadly virus once a spike directly attributable to the said incident is recorded.
Advocate Rahul Tawani appeared for the petitioners, GP Poornima Kantharia appeared on behalf of the State and Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for the Union of India.
Tawani argued that there is urgency in the matter in view of the fact that there has already been a security breach by the incident that took place at Bandra
But Justice Colabawalla said that the said submission is not well founded-
"These are extraordinary times and the Government and the Civic Authorities are doing their best to keep things under control. One incident does not make out an urgency and the Court is sure that the Government and the Civic Authorities will do whatever is necessary to ensure that an incident like the one that took place at Bandra, Mumbai on 14th April, 2020 will be avoided until the lock-down is effective."
As reported earlier, a Magistrate Court at Bandra granted bail to Rahul Kulkarni, a journalist working for ABP Majha who was arrested for offences under various sections of the IPC and the Epidemic Diseases Act for an alleged false report that the Railways will be starting special trains for ferrying lakhs of stranded migrants workers across the state to their native places.
While granting bail, the Court noted that the said news report by the accused journalist clearly shows that the government and the railways administration have come to the definite conclusion that such trains will be operated. The news item went viral and some anti-social elements took advantage of the situation in inciting and gathering people at Bandra station, Court said.
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