Coronavirus lockdown | Chhattisgarh CJ throws a lifeline to stranded students

Chief Justice P.R. Ramachandra Menon

Chief Justice P.R. Ramachandra Menon  

He helps group from AIIMS, stuck for 2 months, return home

At a time when thousands of people are stranded across the country due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice P.R. Ramachandra Menon has quietly helped scores of medical and nursing students of AIIMS Raipur travel home.

Chief Justice Menon’s timely intervention, on the basis of an email received from a Supreme Court lawyer, saw the State government swing into action to provide buses for the students to return to their hometowns in Kerala.

Justice Menon, speaking to The Hindu on Sunday, said these students were tomorrow’s frontline workers in case of a future health crisis and they should be able to trust the system to help them in their need of hour. “Let them be able to do their duty to society in the years to come,” he said over the telephone from Chhattisgarh.

The email sent by advocate Haris Beeran on May 17 to Chief Justice Menon said the students were stranded in Raipur since March 20. Mr. Beeran said some of them had contacted him, seeking legal help to get home.

He said trains were available from Delhi and Punjab, but none passed through Chhattisgarh.

“I generated a file on the basis of this email and passed an administrative order calling forth information from the State government... I wanted to ascertain the facts on whether the students had enough food or whether they had been denied entry into their hostels. I instructed the Registrar General to collect the information through the Advocate General of the State... I wanted to see if there was any need to register a case on the judicial side...” the Chief Justice said.

He said the State government reacted promptly by providing buses for the students. “Full credit goes to the Chhattisgarh government.” He said the judiciary simply played its part of taking cognisance of a concerned citizen’s representation.

“We [the judiciary] cannot simply direct the government to do anything unless there is a breach on the part of the government,” the CJ drew the line.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 10:05:17 PM |

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