#BombayHighCourt to hear suo motu plea concerning #COVID19 situation in districts falling within the Aurangabad Bench jurisdiction.

Hearing before Bench of Justices RV Ghuge and BU Debadwar.

#CovidIndia #COVIDSecondWave #maharashtralockdown #MaharashtraFightsCorona
Adv Satyajeet S Bora is the amicus curiae.
Chief Public Prosecutor DR Kale appears for State.
Adv SG Chapalgaonkar appears for Aurangabad Municipal Corporation.

#CovidIndia #COVIDSecondWave #maharashtralockdown #MaharashtraFightsCorona
Hearing begins.

Court: The Chief Justice has decided that every bench will sit on Wednesday during the month of May for hearing PIL matters. Aurangabad also we will sit. If one of us is not available, then some other bench will sit, but we will sit.

#CovidIndia #COVIDSecondWave
Bora points out from the newspaper clippings that people are not wearing masks and there is no action being taken.

Court: We were told last time, we are told every time, police is keeping a watch, they are penalising people.. what is this then?

#CovidIndia #COVIDSecondWave
The Court is considering the aspect of helmets.

Court: We are saying registration should be done after seeing the original receipt of helmets purchased.
We are saying that RT PCR be increased again.

#CovidIndia #COVIDSecondWave #MaharashtraFightsCorona
Court: The taluka level patient gets result in 2 days as the result comes from district level. These two days become very crucial. At least with rapid antigen, we can get results quickly.

#CovidIndia #COVIDSecondWave #MaharashtraFightsCorona
Kale: RT-PCR takes 24 hours.. but till the time they get reports, the person should quarantine themself.

Court: That is our problem. We cannot discipline ourself. We need someone to discipline us.

Kale: It is expected that police should come and tell us.

Court: As soon as we give swab for test, we immediately get a message to get ourself isolated.

#CovidIndia #COVIDSecondWave #MaharashtraFightsCorona
Court: What is this intervention application? We do not want intervention..
This is Mr. Thombre’s application.
We want these people’s representative to be real leaders in protecting them, in leading them.

#CovidIndia #COVIDSecondWave #MaharashtraFightsCorona
Court records:

Suresh Nankhede, ACP, Aurangabad city has filed his affidavit tendering an apology declaring that he has no intention to flout the order passed by this court or the Supreme Court. And that he has the highest regard for all courts and orders passed by them.
Court records: It was brought to our notice on May 6 that this officer had issued a press note advising public at large in his capacity as ACP traffic Aurangabad that the public at large riding two wheelers will have to compulsorily wear helmets from May 15, 2021 or May 16, 2021.
Court: apparently if this is his decision, it would amount to over bearing the authority of the court as it would be an attempt to not abide by the order of this court of April 26, 2021.
Court: We find from the affidavit filed by Wankhede that he has not even whispered about the circular that is issued. He has not even denied that he had advised public to defer implementation of our order. That newspapers have wrongly quoted him.
Court: Except for declaring his respect to the court, Mr. Wankhede has not said anything about his action in focus. We have rejected this affidavit and we do not treat this as an apology. This does create a ground for contempt against officer.
Court: Chief PP has shown us a press note of May 4, 2021 issued by Mr. Wankhede. In which it is stated, that action would be initiated against persons failing to use helmets wet May 5 2021.
Court: Bora has placed before us news reports in which it has been mentioned that Mr. Wankhede had issued an order for apprising two wheeler users that wearing of helmets would be compulsory from May 16.
Court: It is therefore pointed out that an attempt has been made to show to the Court to showcase that Mr. Wankhede had never told the public that wearing of helmets is compulsory from May 16.
Copy of the report issued by DCP, head office is marked as exhibit.
The report submitted by Dept Commissioner of General Administration, Commissioner office Auranagabad is also taken on record.
Affidavit of Wankhede is also taken on record. Copy of the press note tendered before us, authored by Wankhede placed before us is also taken on record.
Compilation of newspaper reports is submitted. It consists of reports from Times of India, Dainik Lokmat, Divya Marathi, Dainik Sakal, etc.

Court: To clear all doubts, we reiterate our directions issued on April 26 and in orders passed thereafter, we make it clear that wearing the mask, covering nose and mouth and use of helmet is compulsory. There is no relaxation.
Court: Having noted submissions of the lawyers appearing for the respondents, we find the problem with citizens is that they are unable to discipline themselves.
Court: with the intention of avoiding fine or action, masks are worn over the chin, nose and mouth is open. We are seeing in press reports as well as in the electronic media, that people appear to take pride in hanging the mask below the chin.
Court: same si the case with helmets which are hung on the rear side of motorcycle, so as to immediately wear it the moment a traffic police constable is seen by the rider from a distance. It is unfortunate, that people have to be advised to protect themselves.
Court: and at times have to penalised to protect themselves as if they have no responsibility towards themselves and family members. With this backdrop, each citizen desires to blame the police and administration for rise in COVID patients.
Court: It is quite shameful that we are unable to discipline ourselves and we find it very easy to blame the administration for being infected with the COVID due to our own acts.
Court: In these premises we are compelled to pass orders making the use of mask and helmets compulsory as if it is only the government’s duty to protect citizens and that the citizens owe no duty towards themselves or their family members.
Court: We therefore, observe, that the administration which includes the police, shall strictly implement the COVID restrictions and ensure that any person found in the public street should be wearing a mask no matter what position he occupies in the society.
Court: With the same strictness the use of helmets shall be implemented.
Court: Bora submits that press has reported that people’s representative, a former mayor, first citizen of Aurangabad city has celebrated his birthday by violating the restrictions.
Court: We are surprised that the people’s representative who are expected to lead from front and aspire to be ideal role models, are taking pride in celebrating their birthdays publicly.
Court: The amicus has placed before us a news item published by Divya Marathi which carries the photograph of a former Mayor who is being fed with sweet meats.
Court: About 12 persons appear in the picture and only one person is supposed wearing a mask below his chin. The rest are without masks.
We are attaching the news item.
Court: Chief PP submits that an offence has been registered against the persons involved. He also informs that an offence has been registered even against an incumbent MLA, Shri Sanjay Shirsat.
Court (to Kale) According to the administrations’ lockdown restrictions, how many persons can attend?

Kale: 25. But then they have to seek permission
Court: Chief PP Submits that only 2 hours are allowed for marriage functions during lockdown and 25 persons are permitted to attend inclusive of the bride and groom. And permission is necessary for performing such marriage functions.
Court: He is however unaware about such restrictions as regards birthday celebration of people’s representatives, but assures the court that all lockdown restrictions will be imposed with utmost strictness.
Court: IN so far as RT PCR and Rapid antigen is concerned. We are apprised by amicus curiae that residents of far flung villages on developing symptoms which lead to suspicion corona inspection rush to nearest rural hospitals.
Court: RT PCR sample collection centres may be available however the said samples have to be transported to a larger city which has labs to perform the test.
Court: by the time the test result as “positive” is conveyed to the patient, via mobile phone and subsequently, physically, almost two days lapse. These two days are crucial for a COVID patient in so far as city count and the infection reaching the lungs are concerned.
Court: These two days cold turn out to be fatal for some patients. We are therefore directing all respondents to increase rapid antigen tests at the PHC and rural hospitals so that the test result which is available within 30 mins on the spot could be conveyed
Court: to the patient and a rapid antigen positive patient could be immediately shifted to a COVID facility for treatment as this would save his life.
Court: in so far as LPG crematoriums are concerned, the Chief PP submits an encouraging information.
Court: By end of May 2021, LPG crematoriums would be established at several places. We are therefor directing all respondents to take initiative to invite philanthropists, industrialists, people’s representatives, NGOs to come forward for contributing towards the establishment.
Court: SO also the District collectors would consider the utilisation of the district funds. The people’s representatives who have constituency development funds are also expected to establish LPG crematoriums in their constituency as ultimately the public at large would benefit
Court: considering that PIL hearings especially to COVID matters and other emergency and urgent issues can be held even in the vacation period, we are listing this matter on May 12, 2021 at 11 am.
Court: Adv SS Thombre who filed an application on behalf of an MLA intimates to the Corut that there was an incident where he had to raise his voice as a person who had tested positive and was related to him was in a serious condition,
Court: and another relative had rushed out to get food and water.
He is responsible for establishing a large COVID centre in his constituency. He will also take steps for establishing LPG crematoriums.
Court: It is submitted that there are 2 electric crematoriums in place in Ahmednagar. They intend to erect one more electric and one LPG crematoriums, from CSR funds of industries and municipal funds.
Hearing ends.

Matter posted for hearing on May 12, 2021.

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