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HC refuses to intervene in plea seeking physical civic body meets

The court also expressed hope that as and when the situation improved, the authorities should revisit its decision and resume physical meetings as per circumstances and protocols.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: March 18, 2021 3:08:43 am
COVID-19 casesAmid a surge in Covid cases in the state, the Bombay HC Tuesday refused to interfere in a plea filed by Thane Municipal Corporation councillors seeking directions that the civic body's general body meetings be conducted physically instead of via videoconferences (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

Amid a surge in Covid cases in the state, the Bombay HC Tuesday refused to interfere in a plea filed by Thane Municipal Corporation councillors seeking directions that the civic body’s general body meetings be conducted physically instead of via videoconferences.

The court also expressed hope that as and when the situation improved, the authorities should revisit its decision and resume physical meetings as per circumstances and protocols.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing two writ pleas filed by councillors Vikrant Chavan and Ashraf Pathan, seeking directions to the civic body and the state government to conduct general body meetings in the physical presence of all councillors.

On Tuesday, Government Pleader Priyabhushan Kakade and Assistant Government Pleader Reena Salunke informed the HC that the state urban development department, via a circular dated March 1, has decided not to hold general body meetings of corporations and councils physically but to continue meetings through the virtual medium in view of the “upward swing in Covid-19 cases all over the state”.

The bench said, “That there has been a surge in Covid cases, is not in dispute. Since the government has proposed to revisit the present decision after one month upon considering the ground realities, we are not inclined to interfere with such a decision. In matters of protocol relating to health and medical care, the court ought to be slow to interfere with the executive policy decision.”

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