Delhi High Court spews venom on Kerjiwal’s AAP on Covid-19 negligence

19th November 2020

19th November 2020

The Delhi High court on Thursday pulled up Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party’s government for relaxing norms for public movements and gatherings in the national capital even as Covid-19 cases were increasing and questioned whether it has any strategy in place to deal with the “alarming situation”.

The Court asked the AAP government if it could explain to those who had lost their near and dear ones to Covid-19 in the last two weeks why the administration didn’t take steps when cases were spiralling in the city.

The Delhi government was severely criticized for their flip on the decision of reducing the number of people allowed to attend the wedding.

On Tuesday, the state government scaled down the number of people allowed at the wedding from 200 to 50 amidst the increase in coronavirus cases.

This decision overturned the earlier one which was applicable since November 1 that permitted at most 200 people to attend the function.

Criticizing the government, the bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramanonium Prasad questioned the government's unlocking strategy and asked why they waited for the Court’s intervention to take steps such as reducing the number of people attending weddings.

"You (Delhi government) saw from November 1 which way the wind was blowing. But you turn turtle now because we asked you some questions. The bell should have rung loud and clear when the numbers were spiralling. Why did you not wake up when you saw the situation was deteriorating?"

The Court was not satisfied with the monitoring being done by the Delhi government in districts where Covid patients were high.

The High Court also noted that the quantum of fine for not wearing masks and not maintaining social distancing - ₹ 500 for the first violation and ₹ 1,000 for every subsequent violation - did not appear to be working

It said there appears to be a substantial disparity in the monitoring and imposition of fines. The court also sought to know from the Delhi government that why their government hasn’t come up with any strict legislature to ensure strict adherence to wearing a mask.

"What kind of monitoring and marshalling are you doing? Look at the situation seriously with a magnifying glass. You have crossed cities like New York and Sao Paolo," the court said.

Referring to the latest survey report of the government that states that one in four people has been infected by Covid-19, the bench observed that people are struggling daily and they wonder whether there is any policy by the Delhi government is being followed.

“People are running helter-skelter without knowing what to do. There are children, elderly people at everyone’s house and there is no household left in Delhi, which hasn’t been touched by the virus. When other states are locking up, either partial or weekend lockdowns, the Delhi government has decided to throw its wings open and has allowed all the gatherings,”

The High Court was hearing the PIL by the advocate Rakesh Malhotra seeking an increase in the Covid-19 testing numbers.

On Wednesday, Delhi recorded 7,486 fresh Covid cases, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 5 lakh, even as 131 new death, the highest single death count to date.

The total number of cases in Delhi now stands at 5,03,084, with 42,458 active ones. Up to 7,943 people have died of the disease till now, putting the death rate at 1.58%, while the recovery rate is at 89.9%. The national capital has witnessed a spurt in the case since the end of last month when, on October 28, the daily number of fresh cases crossed 5,000 for the first time.

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