HC declines to entertain ‘half-baked’ plea for immediate lockdown in Delhi

The Delhi High Court Monday declined to entertain a plea seeking directions to the AAP government to immediately place the city under lockdown in view of the rising COVID-19 cases and air pollution levels, saying the petition was “half-baked” and “unnecessary”.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said the plea was filed without doing any homework and it ought to be dismissed with costs.

It asked the counsel for the petitioner, Dr Kaushal Kant Mishra, whether she will withdraw the petition or should it be dismissed with costs.

Mishra’s lawyer, Pooja Dhar, agreed to withdraw the plea and sought liberty to move a representation before the appropriate authorities.

The court, however, declined to grant any such liberty and said “petition is dismissed as withdrawn”.

Delhi government additional standing counsel Gautam Narayan, during the brief hearing, told the bench that there is specific direction from the central government to all states and Union Territories that no lockdown be imposed without its permission.

He said the petitioner ought to have made the central government a party in the matter as without its concurrence the Delhi government cannot impose a lockdown.

Taking note of the submission, the bench said: “The central government has not been made a party. It is a completely half-baked petition. You have done no homework before filing the petition. Unnecessary litigation you are filing.”

Right at the start of the hearing, the bench told Dhar that imposition of a lockdown was a policy decision and the court cannot issue directions for the same.

The court also asked whether lockdown was the only solution as there were studies which said it was not that effective.

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It further said that lockdown was imposed for two months in the national capital, however, it did not prevent spread of the infection.

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