The 21-day statewide imprisonment effectively led to the suspension of citizens’ basic rights, and the same can only be done by urgently imposing a constitution, not by an order under the Disaster Management Act (Law) made by the central government, a petition filed before the Supreme court on Thursday.
A petition filed by the Center for Systemic Accountability and Change states that diversity in the steps taken by different state governments has led to confusion and lawlessness in the country and that a unified order between central and state governments is needed to resolve the situation.
“This is the largest state in independent India and should be dealt with under the constitutional provisions of a single command between the central and state governments,” the petition said.
He therefore sought the imposition of a financial emergency in accordance with Article 360 of the Constitution, a step, the petitioner argued, was crucial for combating the coronavirus threat and for securing the recovery of the Indian economy after the blockade had been lifted.
As a provisional measure, the petitioner prayed for instructions to suspend utility bills (electricity, water, gas, telephone, internet) and EMI that could be paid during the closing period. The applicant also requested that instructions be given to the state police and local authorities to comply with the instructions of the union Ministry of the Interior so as not to disturb the basic services.
The central government on March 24 called for provisions of the Disaster Management Act to impose a quarterly shutdown in the country. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi exercised its powers under section 6 (2) (i) of the Act and issued an order directing various departments and ministries of central and state government to take measures to prevent the spread of Covid 19th
In accordance with such guidance from the NDMA, the National Executive Committee assisting the NDMA in the exercise of its functions has invoked its authority under section 10 (2) (l) to adopt detailed guidelines to be implemented by the departments and ministries of central and state governments and union territories.
The applicant submitted that even after the announcement of the closure, the various States and police authorities continued to take their own actions under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1973, in the guise of orders issued by the central government. This, it is argued, constitutes “constitutional fraud”.
The petitioner was that, as the country was going through a pan-India epidemic, it must deal jointly with the entire country without internal geographical constraints and using a unique strategy.
“The diversity of steps taken by different authorities causes confusion and lawlessness (and) can in no way be (a) a solution to a problem as serious as COVID-19,” the petition states.
Furthermore, the applicant also claimed that the blockade had stopped economic activities.
“While starting basic services, there are a number of difficulties reported across the country, whether it be managing shops or delivering newspapers … the situation is so nasty that thousands of day-wage workers who are now jobless are walking hundreds of miles away would reach their destinations, ”the petition noted.
The applicant also claimed that virtually all fundamental rights, such as freedom of movement under Article 19 of the Constitution and the right to freedom under Article 21, were virtually suspended during lock-up. In addition, it is claimed that the public does not have access to newspapers, which happens for the first time since independence. He also argued that the closure of the courts had an impact on the right to justice.
. (ToTranslate tags) Covid19