A PIL has been filed through E-Filing before Supreme Court ( SC’s ) of India seeking appropriate directions/ guidelines/ instructions to Government as well as Police authority and common public to regulate the movement of people in the present lockdown situation combat Coronavirus ( covid-19 ).
It may kindly be noted that at present there is no such guidelines or instructions from the concerned Government Department as to how the public can meet their basic necessities as well as how to cope with a medical emergency situation since the police officers/personnel are seen beating people whoever is seen on road without even asking the cause, which is in violation to Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
In the PIL filed by City based lawyer Amit Goyal, it is stated that a specific instruction is the immediate need of the hour as there in fact is a news where police has beaten a person to death in West Bengal who went to buy milk.
The Petitioner is represented by Supreme Court Lawyer Kaushik Chaudhury, AOR and city based Lawyer, Pritam Baruah.
It is contended in the petition that considering the gravity of the situation the petitioner welcome the lockdown step taken by the Government and also applaud the efforts put by the doctors and other medical staffs, police department, bankers, Court Officials etc. who are risking their lives for the service of the nation and its public.
However, due to circulation of various videos where police are seen beating public and also publication of several news that police are beating the public whoever is seen outside, it is felt that due to not having proper instructions and guidelines everyone including the Police persons are clueless of how to proceed further in this situation and accordingly, the present petition is filed seeking appropriate directions..
It is further stated in the PIL that the petitioner being resident of Guwahati has just got the information that on 27.3.2020 after 3 days lockdown, in some areas vegetable shops were opened and huge gathering of public was seen in such areas to purchase vegetable and there was no follow up of any social distancing norms and surprisingly, the police was seen being totally silent at this stage quite opposite to what they were doing for last 3 days.
This action somehow frustrated the entire purpose of lockdown and if no immediate instructions comes out qua the movement of public to meet their basic necessities in a systematic manner, there will be a massive problem which India will face in near future.
This incident clearly demonstrated that the police authority is choosing the easier option to beat single person seen on the road but are not willing to control a huge gathering where the actual effort is required.
So considering the entirety of the situation, since it has become need of the hour to find out a solution to control and properly activate systematic public movement to meet the basic necessities of the common mass, the present PIL is filed where in the petitioner has come forward with following suggestions:
- Grocery stores should sell the vegetables too. There need not be a separate vegetable store. The grocery stores must maintain complete hygiene and there should be day to day inspection from the concerned authority and daily sanitization of the stores.
- The grocery stores must have card swiping machines so that less people visit ATM or Banks.
- Only 1 person can be allowed to enter into a grocery store and there cannot be a que of more than 5 persons in the stores. The government must ensure to deploy minimum two representatives in every street to maintain the process.
- Only 1 person from each family should be allowed to go for purchasing grocery items and that too only once in a week.
- In Urban areas the ward commissioners and in rural areas the panchayat head alongwith the help of government officials must distribute a government sealed id proof to every family. The person going out from the family must carry the id proof and after every visit the grocery shop owner must mark the id card with the date of visit. Any person travelling without the id proof or more than once in a week shall be punished in accordance with law.
- No person shall go beyond their nearest grocery store anyone violating the same shall be punished in accordance with law.
- Government must ensure availability of essential commodities in all grocery stores and store owners shall be made duty bound to keep essential stocks available in the store.
- People should be allowed to use four/two wheeler as the same will allow people to remain outside for a lesser time, to carry sufficient goods in one go and the same will not let people to come in contacts.
- There should be home delivery of medicines from pharmacy. Every city/ town/village shall have their helpline numbers so as to connect the needy to nearest pharmacy.
- Anyone requesting medicines for fever, cold, cough, headache or any such disease which appears to be symptoms of COVID-19 may immediately be tested.
- Banks should make sure functioning of every ATM and presence of a Security Guard. Only 1 person from each family who goes to purchase the grocery can visit the ATM once a week, if required. After every visit in the ATM the security guard must mark the id proof as done in grocery store.