Allahabad HC says UP govt not doing enough to contain COVID-19; suggests 15-day stringent lockdown

The Bench asked the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary to come up with a road map to tackle the spread of COVID-19 by 28 Aug, which is the next date of hearing

Press Trust of India August 26, 2020 18:24:09 IST
Allahabad HC says UP govt not doing enough to contain COVID-19; suggests 15-day stringent lockdown

Taking a serious note of the spurt in COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday proposed that a stringent 15-day lockdown may be the only way to curb the virus, while observing that the measures being taken by the government are not sufficient.

A bench of justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar made the critical observation against the government's efforts to contain the crisis after softening its remarks, saying it does not doubt "the government's will" to curb it.

"We do not doubt government's will but we are equally conscious that measures being taken are not enough and needed to be made more severe and stringent but of course, workable too at the same time," the bench observed.

While issuing various directions to the state government, the bench, in one of its observations, also said, "When we have to balance between bread and butter and life, the latter has to prevail."

"Food is for life to survive and not vice-versa. We do not think that a lockdown for a fortnight will bring the economy of the state to such a halt that people would die of hunger," the bench observed, apparently suggesting the government to impose another lockdown for a fortnight.

The bench directed Uttar Pradesh chief secretary to tell it if there was any plan of action to contain the infection when the economy was reopened after the nationwide lockdown and if it was ever implemented.

The court also asked the chief secretary if any action had been taken against district authorities who had not followed the plans, if there was any.

The bench was hearing a public interest lawsuit seeking better facilities at quarantine centres.

It also asked the chief secretary to come up with a road map to tackle the spread of infection from now onwards by the next date of hearing.

After giving its directions to the government, the bench slated the matter for next hearing on 28 August.

The court on several occasions during the hearing of the matter in past too had issued various directions to the government to check the spread of coronavirus in the state.

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