Telangana High Court hits out at State over response to pleas on COVID-19 situation

Telangana High Court. File  

Describing the affidavit filed by the State government in COVID-19-related PIL petitions as “wishy-washy and disappointing”, the Telangana High Court on Monday asked if the State was contending for the position of COVID-19 topper in the country.

“We are very unhappy with your affidavit as it does not contain any of the details like measures to check footfall in cinema halls and other public places,” a Bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said.

Expressing dissatisfaction over Advocate General (AG) B.S. Prasad’s reply that the State government was gearing up to tackle the situation, the Bench passed over the matter to hear the pleas after lunch break.

When the AG said the government was following the Centre’s guidelines on COVID-19, the Chief Justice corrected him stating that the Centre had said States can formulate their own instructions on the issue.

“What are you going to make of the people of the State….sitting ducks?” the Chief Justice Kohli remarked.

The Bench said the government was harping on checking international passengers but was “beautifully silent” on its measures to control persons entering State through bus stations, railway stations and private vehicles.

The Chief Justice specifically wanted to know if the government had issued any circulars to check footfall at cinema halls, banquet halls, malls and public places witnessing large congregations of people.

Noting that “it was a desperate situation and required desperate action by the State”, Chief Justice Kohli said, “Sorry for being tough, but it is a question of life and death of people”.

Justice Reddy asked the AG if the government had any problem in restricting the number of people thronging pubs and bars.

“Please state if the government wants to close them or not,” the judge said.

The judge also sought the government’s response over hospitals not admitting persons who tested positive for coronavirus, unless their condition was critical.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 1:58:20 PM |

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