PIL urges court to issue orders to prevent spread of COVID-19

21-page plea seeks directions to protect country’s population

A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed at the Bombay High Court on Friday seeking directions to prevent the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from affecting a large number of people.

The PIL was filed by 42-year-old social worker Sagar Jondhale, who said COVID-19 has been spreading in China’s Wuhan province since December 2019. He said over 4,000 people have lost their lives and one lakh people are under treatment. He said the virus is not limited to China, and has spread to the U.S., South Korea, Iran, Japan, Italy and over 100 countries in the world.

The PIL states, “If no proper precaution is taken in India, it will affect a large population. Considering the high density of population in India as well as limited resources for tackling the pandemic, it is likely to spread at a very high rate.”

The 21-page plea also mentions, “Some States like Kerala and Karnataka have already declared holidays for schools and colleges. However, the State government has yet not taken any serious preventive action.”

The PIL urged the court to pass directions to invite suggestions from various organisations and experts to make the Epidemic Diseases Act more effective to prevent the outbreak of dangerous diseases. It also sought the court to direct the Centre and the State government to set up an Epidemic Disease Control Board to take immediate steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It also sought directions to issue a public notice to declare holidays for schools and colleges and direct subordinate courts, tribunals and quasi-judicial authorities to adjourn matters that are not of extreme urgency.

Mr. Jondale also urged the court to direct corporates and private companies to issue public notices to allow employees to work from home, the State to adopt hi-tech measures at airports, and ports to detect affected people. A Division Bench of acting Chief Justice B.P. Dharmadhikari and Justice Nitin Borkar will hear the matter on March 16.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 4:28:22 PM |

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