The Uttar Pradesh government has approached the Supreme Court against the order passed by Allahabad High Court imposing a near total lockdown in five cities of India’s most populous State in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The matter was mentioned by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde seeking urgent listing.
“A virtual lockdown has been imposed by way of a judicial order in cities like Prayagraj, Lucknow. Please have it today, at the end of the board,” Mehta submitted.
“Alright,” the CJI said.
The Allahabad High Court had on Monday taken a very grim view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in UP and proceeded to issue a slew of directions virtually amounting to a lockdown in five cities of UP till April 26.
A Bench of Justices Ajit Kumar and Siddhartha Varma had pulled up the government for its lack of response stating that the medical system could collapse if urgent measures are not taken.
The High Court had noted that even the Chief Minister of the State was in isolation and only VIPs were getting medical treatment.
The High Court had fixated the blame on those at the helm of affairs of governance.
“Those in the helm of affairs of governance are to be blamed for the present chaotic health problems and more so when there is a democracy which means a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” the order said.
If popular government has its own political compulsions in not checking public movements during this pandemic, we cannot remain mere passive spectators, the Court added.
It had, therefore, proceeded to order closure of all establishments except financial institutions and financial departments, medical and health services, industrial and scientific establishments, essential services including municipal functions, and public transport in the cities of Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur till April 26.
A slew of other prohibitory directions were also issued by the Court.
The UP government had, however, made it clear that it will not impose lockdown in the State despite the High Court order.