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Supreme Court stays Allahabad HC's order to impose near-lockdown in 5 cities of Uttar Pradesh

A bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde stayed the operation of the judgment after hearing the arguments of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who contended that the high court's order would create immense administrative difficulties.

Supreme Court stays Allahabad HC's order to impose near-lockdown in 5 cities of Uttar Pradesh-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Apr 20, 2021, 1:44 PM IST
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted an interim stay on the Allahabad High Court landmark decision to impose a near-lockdown in five cities of Uttar Pradesh, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency.

A bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde stayed the operation of the judgment after hearing the arguments of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who contended that the high court's order would create immense administrative difficulties.

Assuring the top court that the state government was doing what is need to contain the Covid situation, Solicitor General argued that the High Court's approach to locking down five cities by judicial order might not be the right approach.

The Apex court, while appointing senior advocate PS Narasimha as amicus curiae in the petition, granted an interim stay on the High Court order. The bench has sought a report from the state government on the steps taken by it to control the pandemic.

What the Allahabad High Court ruled

The Allahabad High Court had on Monday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government over the Covid-19 situation in the state and ordered lockdown-type restrictions in five cities till April 26.

Issuing the lockdown-type orders for Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur, the High Court Bench comprising Justices Ajit Kumar and Siddhartha Varma rapped the state administration.

Pulling up the Yogi Adityanath government, the bench noted that the scenario is such that in Government Hospitals, admission of patients to ICUs is largely being made on the recommendation of VIPs. 

"Supply of anti-viral drug Remdesivir is being provided only on the recommendation of VIPs. Even the state chief minister is in isolation in Lucknow," the court observed.

"VIPs and VVIPs are getting their RT-PCR report within 12 hours, whereas the ordinary citizen is kept waiting for such reports for two to three days and thus, spreading further infection to other members of his/her family," the court added.

The bench further said that if the popular government has its own political compulsions in not checking public movements during the pandemic, the court cannot be a mere passive spectator.

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