Allahabad High Court
Allahabad High Court
Litigation News

People have wrong impression that they can now freely move: Allahabad HC suggests fines, incarceration for those violating COVID-19 norms

Noting people's failure to comply with physical distancing norms, a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court recommended strict action against those found flouting norms.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

The Allahabad High Court recently took critical note that people “have got a wrong impression that they can now freely mix with each other and move around” after the relaxation of the rigours of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Court was hearing a case concerning the conditions at quarantine centers and treatment of patients infected with the coronavirus (In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive).

“Somehow because of the Unlock-2, our people have got a wrong impression that they can now freely mix with each other and move around.”
Allahabad High Court

Noting with concern people’s failure to comply with physical distancing norms, sanitation, and the regular wearing of masks, a Division Bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar recommended strict action by the State Government. Those found violating physical distancing norms could even be “incarcerated”, the Bench suggested.

The Bench, in its order, wonders why the Uttar Pradesh Epidemic Disease COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 was not being properly implemented in the State. These Regulations envisage imprisonment and/or fines for disobedience of orders.

The Court further stated that it could not “understand why Section 144 of the Cr.P.C. is not being used” to curb public gatherings, despite being in force.

“... we find that the Covid-19 infection is still there and that the people of our State are somehow not getting sensitive to the concept of physical distancing.”
Allahabad High Court

On the Additional Advocate General AK. Goyal’s submission to the Court that the State Government would be meeting in the near future to discuss these issues, the Court stated that the exercise would “have to be undertaken compulsorily”.

Resultantly, the State was directed to “chalk out a plan” to ensure the enforcement of physical distancing norms in “letter and spirit”.

The Court was hearing submissions from the various stakeholders in State efforts against the spread of the coronavirus on Monday when it directed strict action against persons discovered flouting norms. A medical team informed the Court of measures taken to improve testing and treatment of the infection in the city.

The State was directed to place before the Court its plans regarding:

  • Extending COVID-19 Treatment Facilities to Nursing Homes;

  • The feasibility of Blood Plasma Transfusions for the Treatment of COVID-19;

  • Plans for the Disposal of Used Masks.

The Court also directed the State Government to strengthen the computer system in the administration so that “maximum work is done through Video Conferencing."

".... not only should BSNL strengthen its network but also the other private companies who are operating should extend their services.”

the Court said.

In parting, the Court enjoined the people of the State to “become sensitive to the issue of physical distancing.

Further, the Bench sought people not only to “maintain physical distancing” but “also help the administration by providing information about persons who come from out of State and were not observing physical distancing and were not quaranting themselves.”

The case is expected to next be taken up on July 20 (Monday).

Read the Court's Order here:

In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment to Corona Positive - Order dated July 13.pdf
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