HC wants reply on plea against lockdown restrictions in Nagpur

Nagpur, May 6 (PTI) The Bombay High Court has directed the Union government, Maharashtra government and the civic body to respond to a petition against the lockdown restrictions in Nagpur city.

Justice A S Kilor passed the order after a late evening hearing on Tuesday on the petition filed by advocates Prakash Jaiswal, Kishore Lambat, Kamal Satuja, Manoj Sable and Shreerang Bhandarkar.

The petition challenged a notification issued by the Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe on Sunday, informing that the restrictions which were in place till May 3 will continue during the extended lockdown till May 17.

The court sought affidavits in reply from the Center, state and the NMC and adjourned the hearing to May 8.

The petition said that the Union government on May 2 issued guidelines under which all the districts were divided into red, orange and green zones depending on the severity of coronavirus spread, prescribing varying restrictions in each zone.

The Maharashtra government also issued guidelines, allowing stand-alone shops, liquor outlets and private offices to reopen in non-containment zones. This relaxation was extended to shops in the red zone too, said the plea.

Though Nagpur is in the red zone, the central and state-level guidelines permitted liquor shops and stand-alone shops to open and private offices to function with 33 per cent strength, the petition said.

'However, on the same day, the Nagpur civic body through its commissioner altered the guidelines issued by the Union government on the ground that considering the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Nagpur, it was necessary to implementeven more strict measures during the lockdown period till May 17,' it said.

The 'revised' lockdown in Nagpur is on par with the lockdown imposed in Mumbai, Pune and Malegaon (in Nashik district), the plea said.

'The notification issued by the Nagpur civic body is abuse of power and passed without any authority under law, and is illegal, arbitrary, unreasonable and perverse, which deserves to be quashed,' the petition said. PTI CLS SP KRK KRK