scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Friday, May 20, 2022

Bombay HC asks Centre if there’s ‘national plan’ for Covid

🔴 The court put the query to the Centre after the state's counsel said they were unaware about such a national plan by the Centre as mandated under DM Act.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: January 22, 2022 7:56:32 am
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik has been hearing pleas filed by activists Feroze Mithiborwala and Yohan Tengra.

The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Centre to respond to state government’s query whether there was a national plan under Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 to combat Covid and if it differentiates between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons for permitting them to take public transport during pandemic.

The court put the query to the Centre after the state’s counsel said they were unaware about such a national plan by the Centre as mandated under DM Act.

The state was responding to two pleas challenging the Maharashtra government’s decision to permit only “fully vaccinated” people to board local trains, visit malls and workplaces.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik has been hearing pleas filed by activists Feroze Mithiborwala and Yohan Tengra have sought that all people in Mumbai Metropolitan Region be allowed to travel by local trains, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Best of Express Premium

S Somanath: ‘Private players in space sector can boost defence, manufactu...Premium
Afghan economy in tatters, relations on hold, Delhi and Kabul trade via D...Premium
Explained: NATO expansion & RussiaPremium
Explained: Where the rupee is headed, and what its fall means to consumer...Premium

The petitioners, through advocates Nilesh Ojha and Tanveer Nizam, claimed that the Centre made it clear that there cannot be discrimination on the basis of vaccination status, yet the state is passing such orders. The pleas said the notification was illegal, arbitrary and in violation of fundamental rights, therefore, the HC can interfere with health-related policy decision of the state.

Senior advocate Anil Anturkar for state government referred to the affidavit filed by Chief Secretary Debashish Chakrabarty, stating that the decision was taken as “precautionary measure,” since the Constitution permitted reasonable restrictions to be imposed in the “interest of general public”.

The state said “allowing unvaccinated persons to mix with people by using public transport will invite explosive transmission of coronavirus and subsequent variants and it cannot afford to take that risk.”

Anturkar added that he was unaware of any such national plan prepared by the Centre which suggests that vaccinated and unvaccinated people cannot be differentiated to “safeguard public health.” He added that in the event of the Centre having prepared such a plan for usage of public transport services during a pandemic, the state would be considering to adopt the same.

Thereafter, the bench asked the Central government counsel to clarify its position whether such a plan to combat Covid was prepared for implementation across the country. The court will continue hearing the PILs on Friday.

For all the latest Mumbai News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement