Delhi High Court Dismisses Law Student’s Plea Challenging Re-Opening Of Non-Containment Zones With Costs

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The Delhi HC dismissed a petition challenging the Central Govt’s order dated May 30, 2020. The order allowed the reopening of non-containment zones. Also permitting certain prohibited activities from June 8, 2020. The Court dismissed the petition with costs of Rs. 20,000.

Facts of the Case

The petitioner stated that he is a law student studying in GGSIPU. He also stated that he is capable enough to pay any cost if imposed by the High Court. The PIL challenges the order dated May 30, 2020. Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs issued the order. The petition clearly challenges the guidelines. It states that the phased re-opening of the lockdown will result in widespread of COVID-19 in the country.

Petitioner’s Submission

The Petitioner contended that the notification will deprive the citizens of their fundamental rights such as life. He submitted that it also ignores the health of its citizens. Economic conditions are although undertaken while risking the life of the citizens. There was no need for justification for reopening the prohibited activities. He also stated that the Centre has rejected its constitutional responsibility. That is to safeguard the fundamental rights of its citizens to a healthy life.

Court’s Decision

The Court observed that the order dated May 30, 2020, was to ensure an appropriate balance. That is between containing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that people are not left to starve. The Court stated that there is no haste in deciding such policies. The Government could always review their decisions. The Court further restated that there’s limited scope of judicial review of govt. policies. The Courts cannot act as an appellate authority. That is for scrutinizing the appropriateness of the policy.
 
The Court stated:
“Nothing showed on how the impugned order is so arbitrary or based on such irrelevant consideration that it deserves to get struck down as being violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India”.
Further, the Court stated:
“The writ petition is completely misconceived and filed only to gain publicity. It cannot be said that this instant petition was being filed with bonafide intentions.” 
Given the above, the petition got dismissed with costs of Rs 20,000.

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