Lockdown Again In Pune & Other Districts Of Maharashtra Without Guidelines

A public interest litigation was filed before the Bombay High Court. It challenges the State’s decision to re-inject lockdown in districts of Maharashtra. The dates are starting from July 14 for 10 days. They are without issuing guidelines for providing some financial assistance/aid. These aids are regarding the farmers, labourers and poor people for immediate relief.

Introduction

The petitioner is a 34-year-old Vicky Mane. He is a vegetable vendor. He sought directions to frame guidelines for the poor and downtrodden people. The persons are farmers, labourers, daily wagers, and people below poverty line. It also include vendors, small businesses, migrants etc. The purpose is to give compensation. It is also to give subsidies and stimulus. Moreover, it is to provide ex gratia aid to such persons for immediate relief. The motto was to rehabilitation and restoration of their means of livelihood. It was Constitutional and statutory mandate under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Petition Contention 

Advocates Rajesh Inamdar, Shashwat Anand and A Karim Pathan have helped to file the petition for the same. The petition states:

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“The petitioner is with utmost respect and concern. He submits that people are aware of the dangers of Covid-19 and take due precautions, safeguards and adhere to physical distancing norms. As of now, people are more worried about their survival, i.e. starving to death and are further sinking into poverty and misery rather than of Covid-19. It is submitted that the mortality rate of starvation is 100%, much more than the mortality rate of Covid-19, which is said to be around 4%.”

Facts & Issues

The Pune Municipal Corporation in an order issued guidelines for re-doing of lockdown. The lockdown imposed between July 14 and July 23. Petitioner argues that he is not challenging the imposition of lockdown itself. As imposes to tackle the spread of Covid-19 which continues to increase in Pune. Whether, the petition states-

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“It is a bounden duty of the State while re-imposing the lockdown, to also protect, preserve and uphold other precious fundamental rights of citizens like Right to Livelihood, Right to Food, Right To Life, Right to Work and Right to Work With Human Dignity guaranteed by Article 21 of the constitution, which is bound to be affected and violated if such decision is allowed to continue sans guidelines.”

Furthermore, the petitioner states that every time lockdown is imposed, it directly impacts the livelihood of poor sections of society. Thus, the directions are sought to the state government for framing guidelines. They must provide for compensation and assistance. They must include subsidies, stimulus and ex-gratia aid. The aid is for migrants, poor farmers, labourers, and people below the poverty line etc. 

Petitioner has also sought directions for disclosure of the exact plan for executing the lockdown and whether it will be extended or not.


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