Acting on the basis of a public interest litigation (PIL), the Madhya Pradesh High Court ordered all political and government functionaries to strictly abide by the COVID-19 protocols laid down by the Centre for regulating congregations of any nature.
The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Veer Singh Sisodiya, counsel for the petitioner, in which he had urged for issuing directions to stop all political gatherings, functions, and the state government to take action against the political parties that are going to conduct them.
The petitioners further submitted that "state authorities are not discharging their duties properly due to unexplained pressure over them. The present Coronavirus is highly infectious, therefore, meanwhile, on-going political functions/gatherings be immediately stopped." After listening to both the petitioner and the respondents, the Court said that "as an interim measure, in the interest of public at large,rather in the interest of the Nation, we trust and expect that till next date of hearing political functionaries and the functionaries of the State shall strictly abide by the 'Covid-19 protocol' prescribed by the Central Government, State Government and the District Magistrate of the concerned district from time to time for regulating the congregation of any nature." It also appointed three advocates as "amicus curiae" (who assist a court by providing information, expertise or insight) to inform the court, through the Principal Registrar of the Bench, immediately in case of any breach of this order.
The matter has been further listed for hearing on September 28.
As of Sunday, Madhya Pradesh had 21,964 active COVID-19 cases while 79,158 patients have been cured and discharged so far. According to the data provided by the Union Health Ministery, the toll due to the disease stands at 1,943 in the state.
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