The Uttar Pradesh government had approached the top court of the country challenging the Allahabad High Court’s order on imposing strict restrictions in five cities of India’s most populous state in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, on the grounds that the High Court does not have any locus standi to issue such directions.
The Chief Justice of India (CJI) led bench of the Supreme Court decides to hear the matter today.— ANI (@ANI) April 20, 2021
The matter was presented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde seeking urgent listing. The court agreed to hear the matter today.
As per latest updates, the SC has stayed the order issued by the Allahabad HC that had ordered shut down in five cities of UP.
Allahabad High Court orders strict restrictions in five cities of UP in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak
On April 19, the Allahabad High Court issued a list of strict restrictions in five UP cities – Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar, and Gorakhpur till April 26. A bench comprising of Justice Ajit Kumar and Justice Siddhartha Varma were not pleased with the surge in Covid-19 cases.
The court said that the Chief Minister of the state is in isolation and called it a difficult situation for the state. ACS Information, Navneet Sehgal said, “UP Government will not impose a complete lockdown in the cities but impose strict restrictions. The UP Government is submitting its reply before the Court on its observations.”
The court further added that the lack of development in medical infrastructure is visible as the public health system is not able to meet the challenges, and people are dying while waiting for proper medication. “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 court said.
A host of other prohibitory orders were also issued by the Court.
UP government refuses to implement High Court-ordered strict restrictions
However, the UP government refused to implement the high court ordered strict restrictions in the five cities of the state, emphasising that the livelihood of the poor needs to be saved.
“Today in the order of the Hon’ble High Court, the spokesman of the UP government has conveyed that the Corona cases have increased in the state and strictness is necessary for the control of the Corona. The government has taken many steps, strict steps are being taken even further,” the UP government said in a statement as quoted by India Today.
“Along with saving lives, the livelihood of the poor has to be saved. Therefore, there will not be a complete lockdown in the cities. People are automatically shutting down many places willingly,” it added.