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Release those who have completed quarantine period, HC tells U.P. govt

Those who have tested negative for infection will be allowed to go home.

Those who have tested negative for infection will be allowed to go home.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Delhi based lawyer’s plea seeks release of Tablighi Jamaat members who were quarantined after returning from Nizamuddin event in Delhi on March 5

The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that those who have completed their quarantine period and tested negative be released forthwith from quarantine centres.

Explained | Who are the Tablighi Jamaat?

“Persons who have completed their quarantine period and have tested negative cannot be further detained in the centres against their wishes. It would be in violation of personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution”, the court said.

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It further observed, “As a guardian of the Constitution, this court has a duty to interfere whenever there is an abuse of power or usurpation of a right conferred by the Constitution”.

A Division Bench of Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Saurabh Shyam Shamshery passed the order on May 30 on a PIL petition filed by Shaad Anwar.

Mr. Anwar, a Delhi-based lawyer, had sought the release of Tablighi Jamaat members who were quarantined in U.P. after their return from the Nizamuddin event in Delhi on March 5.

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‘Set up panels’

The court also directed the Chief Secretary to set up three-member committees in every district to “ensure smoother, greater and more effective functioning” of the quarantine centres. They would see that the centres were properly maintained, controlled and administered. They would provide help and guidance in the wake of difficulties and problems faced by the inmates and ensure that those who had completed their quarantine period were released forthwith provided they had tested negative and there was no legal impediment in releasing them, the court said.

Mr. Anwar had submitted that the State was not releasing 45 persons linked to the Tablighi Jamaat despite them completing their quarantine period. It was also not providing a valid reason, he stated.

Also read: Supreme Court seeks response of PCI, Centre on plea against media communalising Tablighi Jamaat incident

Government counsel Manish Goyal submitted a chart before the court detailing that a total of 3,001 Indians and 325 foreigners linked to the Tablighi Jamaat were quarantined. All the 3,001 persons have been released after the completion of the quarantine period, while 21 detained in jails. They have returned to their respective States barring few who have made their own private arrangements for their stay, the government said.

Mr. Anwar, while he submitted that few members (Indians) of the Tablighi Jamaat, who had completed their quarantine period were still in quarantine centres, failed to provide details of such persons.

Since the petitioner failed to disclose the names of such members of the Tablighi Jamaat, “we find no reasons to disbelieve the statement made by the learned Additional Advocate General”, the court said.

The State also said that 279 foreigners related to the Jamaat had been lodged in jail, while 46 had returned, but did not specify where.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 4:52:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/release-forthwith-those-who-have-completed-quarantine-period-hc-tells-up-govt/article31729532.ece

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