High Court of Jammu & Kashmir
High Court of Jammu & Kashmir
Litigation News

[Coronavirus] Jammu & Kashmir HC directs strict action against people concealing Travel History

"Judicial notice can be taken of the several complaints ... with regard to persons who are concealing their foreign travel history...in order to escape the mandatory quarantine", the Court observed.

Shruti Mahajan

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed that persons concealing travel history to evade quarantine/isolation measures necessary to contain the spread of the Coronavirus should be strictly penalised in accordance with law.

As stated by the order passed by a Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sindhu Sharma,

"We direct the authorities of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh to enforce their notifications/instructions/orders regarding all disclosures including the travel history; quarantining and isolation stringently. All authorities of the Union Territories shall take strict measures to ensure that all requirements are strictly enforced. Violation of any Government notification or breach thereof should be strictly punished in accordance with law."
Jammu & Kashmir High Court

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court took judicial notice of several complaints bring published in the media pertaining to persons concealing the details regarding their foreign travel so as to avoid undergoing the mandatory quarantine. Some of these persons, the Court observed, were found to be infected. As a result, the Court observed,

...huge public resources have been expended on tracking, not only these persons, but their several contacts during the period upto their detection.
Jammu & Kashmir High Court

The Court, therefore, ordered for strict enforcement of government orders and for the violators to be dealt with stringently in accordance with the law.

The Court also took note that took note of the need for social distancing in prisons. In this regard, it was observed that one of the steps being mulled over is for procedures pertaining to remand be completed through video conferencing.

The other pertinent issued taken up by the Bench on Tuesday concerned the internet connectivity in Courts, prisons and juvenile justice boards. During the last hear, the Court had sough a response from BSNL on this issue.

BSNL told the Court that there are a total of 84 locations/sites for Multi Port Label Switching connectivity. Of these, 58 sites were commissioned and 16 were under commissioning, according to BSNL's report.

The High Court's IT Registrar, however, informed the Court that only 20 sites were made operational and even for the same uploading of orders is not possible. An exercise was to be undertaken by BSNL in collaboration with NIC for facilitation of the same, but it has not been done yet, the Registrar informed the Court.

The Court expressed its dismay over the state of affairs, remarking,

"This is a hopeless situation."

It proceeded to warn BSNL against placing incorrect information before it. However, it stopped short of taking any action, citing the dire situation presently prevailing. Instead, BSNL was granted another opportunity to complete the task.

The Court also took on record various status reports submitted by the various departments pertaining to the steps taken and facilities provided to ensure proper care is given to inmates in old age homes, nari niketan, bal ashram, orphanages, blind schools and other such institutions.

The matter will be taken up next on March 30.

Read the order:

Court on its own motion vs UT of J&K and ors (Corona).pdf
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