The High Court had diluted the State Government’s ban on the use of vehicles during the nationwide lockdown, saying that the Government should first come out with a composite plan on availability of essential commodities before imposing a ban on the use of vehicles.
Brief facts of the Case
On 09/04/2020, the learned Additional Government Advocate brought to the notice of this Court that during lockdown period, numbers of the vehicle are being seized by the police authorities on the premises of violation of conditions by some authorities. Keeping in view the precarious condition prevailing in the State having no particular mechanism in the matter of availability of vegetables, medicines and other such usable items within walkable distance for all different categories of people including Senior Citizens, women and persons unable to ride cycle may be forcing many people to move to particular areas for such collection.
It is also contended by the learned Additional Government Advocate that the Government in its appropriate department shall bring out composite planning on availability of such essential items locally thereby requiring no use of two-wheelers at the earliest.
Further contended that vehicles already seized shall be released by obtaining an undertaking from the persons concerned, from which such vehicles are being seized, that he/she shall not utilize the same any further. Further such vehicle shall be released at least thrice without imposing fine and only on above undertaking such practice may continue at least till Government comes up with proper guideline and mechanism for making available of useful commodities within walkable distance.
Arguments before the High Court
It is argued by the learned Additional Government Advocate before the High Court in against of State Government, says until any particular guideline and proper arrangement are brought in the matter of above, there should not be a complete ban of movement of two wheelers and relaxation may be made subject to satisfactory explanation by such riders. This may not be construed to be a complete lifting of ban. As it is for the complete lockdown situation, people of the state are also in serious misery and complete ban of movement of two wheelers in absence of system making the availability of essential commodities at the walkable distance will add further to the miseries of the people.
High Court’s Decision
On 10/04/2020 means a day after ordering the release of two-wheelers seized from lockdown violators and directing the State Government to make essential items available for people within walkable distance, the Orissa High Court partially modified the order and made use of two-wheelers applicable for “senior citizens” and “handicapped persons” only to go to market places for the purchase of essential items.
This court also ordered the Police Authorities to give relaxation in mobility of doctors and health workers on production of their identification. The Court also restrained the police from collecting fines from vehicle users until third count of default.
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