The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court against the Allahabad High Court's order directing it to impose strict restrictions till April 26 in five cities amid surge in COVID-19 cases. The apex court has admitted the state government's plea and hear it today itself.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde. Mehta, while referring to the high court's order passed on Monday, said that a virtual lockdown is declared by a judicial order for a week. He requested the bench to take up the matter during the day saying the matter relates to five big cities of the state.
The Allahabad High Court had on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose a week-long lockdown in Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur Nagar, Varanasi and Gorakhpur. Reacting to the order, the UP government, however, said there will be no "complete lockdown" in the cities for now.
A two-judge bench comprising justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar had passed the lockdown order on a PIL on the condition of quarantine centres in the state and treatment of coronavirus patients.
Responding to the Allahabad HC order, Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary, Information, Navneet Sehgal had said strict curbs are necessary to control the spread of the virus and that the government has taken several steps in that direction.
"Therefore, there will be no complete lockdown in the cities for now. People are automatically closing many places," he said.
The state has witnessed a spurt in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks. Currently, the state has more than 1.91 lakh active cases and more than 9,800 people have lost their lives.
The Uttar Pradesh government has already announced a lockdown across the state on all Sundays till May 15. Only sanitation, sanitisation and emergency services will operate during this period.
The government has said that those caught for the second time not wearing a mask will be fined Rs 10,000. The first time fine for not wearing a mask has been doubled to Rs 1,000 and officials have been directed to run a special campaign for sanitisation across the state.