News By/Courtesy: Akanksha Dash | 20 May 2020 13:08pm IST


  • PIL alleged that the free movement of essential workers is spreading COVID-19 to suburbs around Mumbai
  • State said it is entirely impossible to arrange accomodation
  • State sought disposal of PIL in interest of justice

As a reply to a PIL filed in the Bombay High Court the state said that the “need of the hour is to fight the disease and not the persons involved in fighting the disease.” The Public Interest Litigation in question alleged that the essential workers like the medical workers, police, and sanitation workers, etc. who are moving across the cities unhindered are causing the spread of the Coronavirus. It stated that because of this movement the cases in the suburban areas around Mumbai have risen.
The PIL has been filed by one Charan Bhatt and being heard by a division bench comprising of the Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde. It urged the court to give directions to the government to arrange alternate accommodation for the workers in the city of Mumbai itself.
Reports and data given in newspapers and websites have relied upon to contend that out of the 69 patients who are currently undergoing treatment in Vasai Virar 47 are parts of the essential workforce. And a similar scenario is prevalent around Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli, and Navi Mumbai.
 The State filed an affidavit through the Deputy Secretary (Relief), Disaster Management, Relief & Rehabilitation, Revenue & Forest Department, and stated that it is “impossible to arrange for such accommodation” because simply there are so many of them in number.
They also stated that if they try to adhere to what this PIL asked for it will end up putting a lot of extra stress on machinery that is already stressed due to the COVID-19 fight.
Plus we can’t execute this as such a hindrance to the “free movement of medical professionals is essential in meeting public health requirements and saving precious human lives.” They will lead to impediments in the rendering of essential medical services.
Plus reasonably one cannot expect to stop or restrict the police force from moving about freely as it is a key component of their duty to ensure that lockdown norms are adhered to and law and order are maintained.
Plus such professionals take all precautionary measures necessary i.e. masks, hand sanitizers, gloves, etc. to guard themselves against the highly infectious Coronavirus.
We as a society are collectively trying to fight the virus so that loss of life is minimal and we can go back to normal. We can’t turn against those people who are essential in fighting against the disease.
The state submitted that this PIL should be disposed of in the interest of justice and that the “need of the hour is to fight the disease, not the person involved in fighting the disease."

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 20 May 2020 14:27pm IST

Tags : movement, medical staff, mumbai, vasai

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