The Bombay High Court on Wednesday questioned the Maharashtra government for holding political rallies in the midst of the pandemic by flouting the COVID-19 protocols.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni asked how such rallies, including one held earlier this month over the name of an upcoming airport in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, were allowed when the state government had prohibited large gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID19.
“Activate your machinery to stop any political rallies defying covid protocols. If you can't handle it, let it be done by the court. We will not allow this to happen. We are shutting down courts, we are not being able to work at full strength and these political leaders are organising rallies?” Chief Justice Dipankar Datta told the Advocate General.
“We thought it would be 5,000 but the last rally was 25k. How will you manage Covid? Is this the time to rally? And what is the issue? Naming the airport. Can it not wait till Covid is over?”
The court further asked if holding political rallies for gaining "mileage" was more important than preventing the spread of the coronavirus infection. “There are rallies in the State for Maratha reservation. That issue is pending before the Supreme Court. Let them take a decision. Why cannot the politicians go before the electorate and say that the issue is pending before a Court? Are they (politicians) less responsible than those holding fake vaccination camps?? Everyone is trying to take mileage for political gain.”