While the nation is going through grave situations of COVID infections, amid a massive surge in novel coronavirus cases in the state, the Allahabad High Court directed Uttar Pradesh government on Monday, 19th April 2021 to impose lockdown in the five major cities of the state including Lucknow, Kanpur till 26th April.
The lockdown was ordered to be imposed in Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, and Gorakhpur. During the lockdown, essential services were allowed. However, the state government had refused to impose the complete lockdown.
ACS-Information, Navneet Sehgal said to news agency ANI-“UP government will not impose complete lockdown in the cities but impose strict restrictions. The UP government is submitting its reply before the court on its observations.”
While the order of HC stated- “All hawkers including fruits vegetable vendors, milk vendors shall go off the road by 11 AM every day till 26th April 2021. All shopping malls and complexes shall remain closed and other commercial shops excluding medical shops, with over three workers, shall remain closed.” Further the order it was mentioned that “District Magistrate and CMO Prayagraj/Lucknow to ensure arrangement of COVID medicine, oxygen facilities in adequate numbers in respected hospitals. Religious activities and marriages will remain suspended.” A day after the High Court’s order on 20th April 2021, Tuesday the Uttar Pradesh Government had moved the Supreme Court against the order.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday put on hold the Allahabad High Court order for a weeklong lockdown. The apex court while halting the lockdown asked the UP government to submit the various steps it has taken to control the pandemic before the Allahabad High Court within a week. During the hearing, the UP government told the bench that the order by Allahabad High Court will create immense administrative difficulties and that a lockdown by judicial order may not be the right approach. The apex court also appointed senior advocate P.S. Narsimha as amicus curiae to assist in future hearings in the UP lockdown case. In a statement government stated the lives and livelihoods arguments, adding that it had already taken several measures to stop the spread such as containment zones, night curfews, Sunday bandh, and limits in gatherings. The steps will help stop the spread and it was not thinking about a complete lockdown as of now.
Another judicial intervention regarding lockdown took place in Telangana, where Telangana High Court on Monday directed the State government to issue within 48 hours COVID-19 guidelines to minimize steps in liquor shops, restaurants, marriage halls, and cinemas among other crowded places. A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy hearing a batch of PILs on COVID-19 issues wanted some sort of restrictions during weekends as part of the containment measures against COVID-19.
The court stated that government has to take a call on whether imposing curfew as one of the containment measures during weekends wherever it is useful for restricting crowds. The bench expected the state government to also take independent decisions notwithstanding the guidelines of the central government. The court directed the government to file a report before it while posting the matter on April 23rd. Telangana has been observing a high number of COVID-19 cases in the past few days causing concern to the authorities.
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