UP govt challenges order of Allahabad HC, directing week-long lockdown in 5 major cities of state

The UP government in its appeal against the high court order said that the order is encroachment into domain of executive, which is best equipped to declare such lockdowns.

The Allahabad High Court on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose a lockdown in 5 cities till April 26 to break the chain of COVID-19 infection. The division bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar contended that the stricter novel coronavirus curbs would also ensure that the frontline healthcare workers get respite and can pay more attention to the patients who are already admitted.

Blaming the government for not planning in advance for the second COVID-19 wave, the HC observed, “If popular government has its own political compulsions in not checking public movements during this pandemic, we can not remain mere passive spectators. Public health is the top most priority and call of the moment and any complacency of any degree today will cause havoc to people. We can’t shirk away from our constitutional duty to save innocent people from the pandemic which is spreading due to the negligence of a few.”

Allahabad HC had taken suo motu cognisance of the spread of Covid and passed a string of directions to the UP government. The Uttar Pradesh government had refused to go for a lockdown on Monday, saying it was necessary to protect livelihoods of people, after the Allahabad High Court directed the state government to enforce closure of government and private establishments in five cities — Lucknow, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Kanpur and Gorakhpur — till April 26 to break the lethal Covid chain.

Hours after the high court directive, the UP government issued a statement, saying a “full lockdown would not be implemented in cities right now. People are voluntarily shutting establishments.”

“In light of high court order, it is to be said coronavirus cases have gone up in the state and there is need for strictness in controlling spread of the virus. The government has taken several steps and in future will also take more severe steps,” a government spokesperson said.

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