Chhattisgarh High Court Directs State to conduct Intensive Search Operations to locate the person who returned from Tablighi Jamaat

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Chhattisgarh High Court issued an order asking the State Government to take on the “intensive search operation” to identify the people who have returned from Tablighi jamaat meeting in Delhi’s Nizamuddin. While giving the opportunity to be heard to the number of petitions relating to the various issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court noted that a total of 159 Tablighi Jamaat members had returned to the Chhattisgarh.

Out of 159 returnees, 52 persons had not been identified. The High Court while further adding on to the point of intensive search operation said that there is a need to identify the unidentified Jamaat’s as they may be a potential carrier of the COVID-19 infections. Moreover, out of 107 identified members, the report of 87 had been received.

The High Court Bench of two judges i.e. Justice Prashant Mishra and Justice Goutam Bhaduri while addressing his concern to the said matter, ordered the State Government to initiate immediate action to intensive search operation to locate the remaining 52 unidentified people who have attended the gathering and immediately obtain reports of these 23 persons whose samples have been taken but the reports are awaited.

Issue Raised

The court asked the Advocate General to file status reports for each of the following issues raised during the hearing which is related to the pandemic and they are as follows:

  • Measures were taken for welfare, particularly supply of food even for the person who does not hold ration cards.
  • Issues arising out of Government’s decision to allow such MNREGA works which do not necessitate the congregation of individuals at one place.
  • Police atrocities during maintenance of law and order amid the lock-down.
  • Release of children and women lodged in jails.

Besides these issues, Shri Prateek Sharma, the advocate for the intervenors, filed an intervention application in the Original Suo motto Writ petition agitating the issue concerning the opening of the liquor shops.

Also, it noted that the state government of Chhattisgarh was planning to take a decision on matter depending upon the decision of whether to continue the lockdown or not.

Court’s Order

After examining the submission in all the Writ Petitions, the Chhattisgarh High Court allowed two-week time to the learned advocate General Shri Satish Chandra Verma to file the status Reports on the issue raised in each petition.

As far as the issue concerning the opening of the liquor shops, the matter was heard on 13th April, 2020.

Further adding the points in the order, High Court said, they are particularly concerned about the non-testing of several persons who have returned to the states of Chhattisgarh after attending the meeting in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz.

He stated the report for the same shall be submitted on the next hearing i.e. 13th April, 2020.

Except from the issues concerning the opening of liquor shops and testing of persons, all other issues shall be taken up after two weeks i.e. on 27th April, 2020.


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