The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court said while it expects effective measures from the state government for migrants and health workers in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the citizens, who are always protective about their fundamental rights, also need to remind themselves and discharge the fundamental duties.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prasanna B Varale made the observations on April 8 in a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) while it took cognizance of various news reports about the problems faced by migrant and health workers among others.
Justice Varale noted that while local bodies, state and central governments are issuing various directives to avoid congregation of people and appeals are being made to maintain social distancing, there are instances reported in newspapers and television channels that some citizens are “very casually” committing a breach of these guidelines and causing disturbance to social and communal harmony.
“In such situation, in my opinion, this is the right time to remind ourselves of the fundamental duties of a citizen. Quite often, the citizens show serious concern about their fundamental rights, but then forget the fundamental duties,” the bench said.
Justice Varale said in the backdrop of the unforeseen situation, it would be useful for our purposes to refer to Article 51-A of the Indian Constitution, which reads, “To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.”
In its April 8 order, the court suggested that district administrations can consider to establish link between farmers who can provide vegetables and fruits on daily basis to consumers. The court suggested that the administration can create several centres across the districts to avoid large gatherings to cater to the need of vegetables, medicines and other essential goods. It posted the matter for further hearing on April 15.
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