Gujarat High Court: A Division Bench of Vikram Nath, CJ and Ashutosh J. Shastri, J. addressed a suo motu public interest litigation in view of incident of mass congregation in Delhi.
At least 200 members of the said congregation have been reported to traveled to the State of Gujarat who may be infected with COVID-19. News reports have further confirmed death of one person in Gujarat out of a total of 8 deaths all over the country who had participated in the congregation at Delhi.
Further the Court noted that no one knows where all these 200 or more members of the congregation are now based in Gujarat.
Advocate General, Kamal B. Trivedi appearing for State of Gujarat submitted that Government is already in the process of identifying and tracing not only the members of the said congregation having travelled to Gujarat but also the details of other persons coming in close contact with the said members.
Devan Vyas, Assistant Solicitor General, on behalf of union of India, assured the Court that Central Government after collecting necessary data from State of Delhi with regard to the above would share the same with respective states including Gujarat.
High Court in its earlier order had directed the State Government to ensure that no gathering takes place in all the places of worship in the State but that would not mean that daily puja/aarti/service/offering of prayer(namaaz) in these places of worship is to be stopped bu that the same would carried out by the respective managements without making such places open to public.
Advocate General during the present hearing assured that the above would be strictly followed.
In the present hearing, Court issued that Union of India will provide complete information to the State of Gujarat and to the Court in a sealed cover of all those persons irrespective of their nationality who were party to the Tablighi Jamaat and have entered to the State of Gujarat.
Further the State Government shall provide following details:
- Details provided by Union of India; Steps taken by State of Gujarat.
- Quarantine, testing and other steps taken by the State in regard to such persons
- State shall also provide details of those people who have been untraceable
- Steps taken for the implementation of the restrictions that may have been imposed by the State with respect to gatherings at all worship places such as Temples, Churches, Gurudwaras, Mosques and strict compliance thereof.
Thus in view of the above the Court held that if satisfactory reports will not be submitted then the court will have to issue necessary directions and may take coercive measures.
Matter is to be listed on 03-04-2020.[Suo Motu v. State of Gujarat, 2020 SCC OnLine Guj 385, decided on 01-04-2020]