Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, JJ has stayed the Allahabad High Court judgment issuing directions for “lockdown” in the State of Uttar Pradesh but has directed that the State Government to “immediately” report to the High Court about the steps it has taken and proposes to take in the immediate future within a period of one week in view of the current pandemic.
The Court has appointed Senior Advocate P.S. Narasimha as Amicus Curiae and has listed the matter after 2 weeks.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the State had argued before the Court that the State Government has issued several directions to contain the spread of Corona Virus and are taking adequate precautions at their own and that the directions issued by the High Court vide the impugned order are as rigorous as a lockdown though the High Court has observed that “they are nowhere close to a complete lockdown”.
Yesterday, the Allahabad High Court had said that it was their constitutional duty to save innocent people from the pandemic and in order to break the chain of COVID-19 pandemic, people are to be restrained from going outside their homes for a week.
It said that,
“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. It is a shame that while the Government knew of the magnitude of the second wave it never planned things in advance.”
While the High Court said that the directions issued by it were “nowhere close to a complete lockdown”, it remarked,
“In this order if we have not imposed a lockdown it does not mean that we do not believe in it. We are still of the view that if we want to break the chain a lockdown for a duration of at least two weeks is a must.”
[State of Uttar Pradesh v. High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 336, order dated 20.04.2021]
For Petitioner(s): SG Tushar Mehta, AAG Garima Prashad, Adv. Rajat Nair and AOR Abhinav Agrawal
For Respondent(s): AOR Talha Abdul Rahman