Participants being taken to quarantine facilities.
Participants being taken to quarantine facilities. |Outlook
Litigation News

Coronavirus: Standing Counsel Gaurang Kanth writes to Delhi HC for action against organizers of Nizamuddin congregation, State officials

The letter seeks action against State officials concerned for their "fatal negligence".

Aditi Singh

A Central Government Standing Counsel has written to the Delhi High Court seeking action against those responsible for the Nizamuddin congregation, which led to the spread of COVID-19.

The letter by Standing Counsel Gaurang Kanth seeks action against organizers and participants of the Tabligh-e-Jamaat Markaz as well as the officials concerned for their "fatal negligence".

The letter states that the religious congregation which was organized by Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid, Nizamuddin West during mid-March, witnessed participants from countries like China, England, Thailand, Dubai etc.

Thereafter, as per media reports, while at least 6 people who attended this congregation died in Telangana and one died in Kashmir on account of COVID-19, many others who returned to their respective states have now tested positive for the Coronavirus, it is added.

This gathering, Kanth asserts, was in violation of March 16 order issued by the Delhi Government under the COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 passed under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 as well as the March 18 Delhi Police order banning assemblies of more than 5 people.

"...despite the said orders being in place, the congregation could still be conducted shows carelessness and gross negligence of the State government and other officials including the District Magistrate – South East in handling this emergent situation at the Nizamuddin area. It cannot be denied that officials were not aware of the presence of such a large gathering at the Markaz in Nizamuddin West."
Letter by Gaurang Kanth

It is Kanth's stance that in view of the grim sitiation on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing such a congregation "clearly constitutes a lapse on the part of the State Government machinery" which is "inexcusable and unpardonabe".

Thus, urging the Court to take suo motu action in the matter, Kanth writes,

"...being a Central Government Standing Counsel, I require requisite permission from the Central Government for filing an appropriate Writ Petition before this Hon’ble Court with regard to this issue. However, in view of the emergent situation and being a responsible officer of this Hon’ble Court, it is my duty to bring this to the attention of Your Lordships so that Your Lordships can take suo moto cognizance of the situation and pass appropriate orders."
Gaurang Kanth

Apart from seeking action against the organizers of Nizamuddin congregation and state officials, Kanth also prays for immediate action and remedial measures to be taken for curtailing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Delhi's Nizamuddin area.

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