Citizens should practice restraint and discipline amid the surge in COVID-19 cases before blaming the government, the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court said on Monday while passing several directions on the pandemic.
A division bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and B U Debadwar directed that all persons, including public servants not on duty and doctors and paramedical staff, carry their Aadhaar cards while stepping out of their homes and also wear masks.
“We as citizens should show some loyalty to our place and sensibility before blaming the government. Residents need to practice restraint and discipline,” Justice Ghuge said.
The court noted that schemes and systems are good but it is humans who destroy them and make them rotten.
“We see youngsters, girls and boys, loitering outside without any purpose. People are travelling on bikes on triples and sometimes even four persons without helmets and masks,” the court said.
The court said any person stepping outside shall have to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth.
“Wearing a mask below the chin or exposing their mouth or chin shall also be booked as such people often turn out to be super spreaders of coronavirus,” Justice Ghuge said.
The court said no member of any political party or an influential person shall use his influence to help a lockdown violator.
The bench had last week taken up suo motu (on its own) cognisance of COVID-19 related issues like lack of oxygen, Remdesivir injections, people not following lockdown restrictions etc.
The court said it had no intention to pass any order that would interfere with the government’s policy of equal distribution of oxygen and Remdesivir injections.
“There would be no grabbing of share of Remdesivir injections or oxygen supply to Aurangabad from other districts in the state. The government, both Union and State, has its policy of equal distribution and we do not intend to disturb it,” the court said.
Taking note of an order issued by the Aurangabad Divisional Commissioner asking private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients to set up oxygen plants in their premises, the court asked authorities to grant permission to all such hospitals who want to set up oxygen plants.
“However, we make it clear that such oxygen plants shall be state of the art so as to avoid disturbing incidents such as the one that occurred at a hospital in Nashik, and Virar,” the court said.
The bench also said authorities must ensure maximum vaccination of citizens as only this would reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in future.
The court directed Aurangabad Divisional Commissioner and municipal commissioners of all districts to keep a check at crematoriums and funeral ghats to ensure relatives of COVID-19 victims are not harassed or asked to pay bribes to carry out the final rites.
The court asked authorities to provide rural primary health care centres with rapid antigen tests facilities so that people living there are not forced to travel to cities to carry out RT-PCR tests.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on May 3.
The court also heard a petition seeking criminal action against BJP MP Sujay Vikhe Patil for procuring 10,000 vials of Remdesivir injections from Delhi and distributing them in Ahmednagar.
The court posted this petition for hearing on April 29 and asked the state government to respond to it.