Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy, JJ has directed that all old age people who are eligible for pension should be regularly paid pension and those identified older people should be provided necessary medicines, masks, sanitizers and other essential goods by respective States.

The Court further directed that as and when any individual request is made, the same shall be attended to by the Administration with all promptness. The care givers of those old age homes should be provided personal protection and appropriate sanitization should also be undertaken in the old age homes.

The direction was passed after it was told that the older people, who are living alone, are worst sufferers and they are not able to get medicines, masks, sanitizers and other essential goods. The care givers of these people are also not equipped with personal protection equipment and are also untrained. The petitioner submitted that the older people have already been identified since most of them are getting pension from the States under the different schemes and that appropriate direction be issued for timely payment of old age pension to all elder persons who are in receipt of the pension.

On the submission that the elderly people are not getting priority in the Government hospital irrespective of their capacity to pay, the Court observed that the elderly people should be given priority in the admission in the Government hospital looking to their vulnerability for COVID 19. In event of any complaint made by the elderly people, the hospital administration concerned shall take immediate steps to remedy their grievances.

The States have to file their reply affidavit within four weeks.

[Dr. Ashwani Kumar v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 620 , order dated 04.08.2020]

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Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of Abhay S. Oka, CJ and B.V. Nagarathnna, J. held that , owners of seized vehicles due to breach of COVID-19 Guidelines may approach jurisdictional Police Officers for the same.

An interlocutory application has been tendered wherein it has been stated that from 25-03-2020 till date, approximately 35,000 vehicles have been seized within the limits of Bengaluru City for violating of Section 188 of Penal Code, 1860 and clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 51 of Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Further with regard to the release of the above vehicles, it has been pointed out that owner will have to file applications before the Jurisdictional Magistrates.

Courts of the jurisdictional Magistrates will be flooded with such applications and will lead to crowding of Courts.

Thus in view of the above, State Government sought direction permitting jurisdiction Police Officers to exercise the power under sub-section (3) of Section 102 of CrPC to handover the custody of seize vehicles.

In view of the huge number of vehicles beings seized, a great deal of urgency  was seen and thus the State Government was requested to immediately take up present IA.

AGA while pointing out sub-section (3) of Section 102 CrPC, submitted that firstly, such large number of vehicles cannot be conveniently transported to the jurisdictional Courts and secondly, it is difficult to secure a proper accommodation for safe custody of such large number of vehicles.

He also submitted that along with the above stated Sections for penalisation, Section 179 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 may also be attracted.

Bench agreeing with the AGA’s submission stated that,

in case of such seizure of vehicles for the offences relating to breach of the directions concerning COVID-19, it will be open for the jurisdictional Police Officers to exercise the powers under sub- section (3) of Section 102 of Cr.P.C and to give custody of the vehicles in terms of sub-section (3) of Section 102 to the owners.

It will be appropriate if the power under sub-section (3) of Section 102 of CrPC is exercised by the jurisdictional Police Officers on an application made by the owners of the vehicles.

Court’s Order

  • Persons claiming to be the owners of the vehicles which have been seized for violation of various orders issued concerning COVID-19 make an application to the jurisdictional Police Officers to grant custody of the seized vehicles, after verification of the ownership of the applicants, it will be open for the jurisdictional Police Officers to give custody of the seized vehicles to the owners by exercising the powers under Section 102 (3) of CrPC.
  • Prosecution of the alleged offenders will remain unaffected.
  • Present Order will apply only to seizure of the vehicles within the limits of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.
  • In future, if vehicles are seized within the limits of BBMP by the jurisdictional Police Officers for the similar breaches, the custody of the vehicles can be given to owners on the same terms and conditions.

[Mohammed Arif Jameel v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 448  , decided on 30-04-2020]