Coronavirus | Madras HC expresses concern about TN getting lesser fund to fight COVID 19; appeals people against congregation; directs police to seize vehicles violating S. 144 CrPC

Madras High Court: A Division Bench of N. Kirubakaran and R. Hemalatha, JJ. while deciding a matter stated that,

“If we are not disciplined even at this hour of crisis, no one could save us.”

Present petition was filed seeking direction to the respondent with regard to ensuring 100% testing of all persons who were exempt from lockdown and were performing services involving public contact and to complete the same before completion of the lockdown and for such purpose a database to be build up.

Court stated that Disaster Risk Management fund, Home Ministry had released Rs 510 Crores which is not adequate, States that have lesser number of virus infected patients have been allotted more fund. Thus, Court in view of the same stated that it is not against allotment of more funds to other States, but concerned about Tamil Nadu getting lesser amount of fund, Central Government may positively consider increasing the amount.

It was noted that, 690 COVID Positive patients have been found but their families and friends have not yet come forward for testing as well as quarantining.

Pandemic spreads like a wild fire.

Many persons have come from foreign countries since the end of february and they have not voluntarily subjected themselves for testing and quarantining.

in the above view, Court appeals to such persons for voluntarily testing and quarantining as the same would enable the pandemic to be controlled in the interest of  the public.

Further, it has also been noted that lakhs and lakhs of people are affected because of the lockdown, thus Court directs the authorities to verify the persons who are without food and shelter and provide the same by having community kitchens.

Court observes that, inspire of several appeals made by authorities, public is not listening to them and they are living very closely and there is every chance to spread the dangerous pandemic. Thus it is requested to keep social distancing while moving out for purchasing essential commodities or visiting hospitals etc., If we are not disciplined even at this hour of crisis, no one could save us.

Pandemic is only in second stage and if it reaches to community spreading, there is likelihood of loss of lives. 

Thus, this Court appeals to the people to avoid going out or congregating and to maintain social distancing.

Bench asks the Additional Advocate General to file a status report in view of the above and Police Authorities to arrest as well as seize two wheelers or the 4-wheelers which are used in violation of Section 144 order, if anybody come out without reason  beyond 1.00 P.M. [India Awake for Transparency v. Secretary, Department of Health and family Welfare, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 912, 08-04-2020]

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