Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 29
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Sunday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation against Chandigarh Administration’s decision to open up shops in the city in the middle of a curfew saying it was a policy matter.
The court said that the UT Administration could decide the parameters of social distancing at the time of distributing essential items.
The administration has also been asked to monitor and regulate the process by taking stringent actions against violators.
The Bench said that the administration’s order dated March 27 was valid and had been issued in larger public interest. The court also said that the scope of judicial interference in a policy matter was very limited.
“The Chandigarh Administration has weighed all the pros and cons before taking the decision. We will not substitute our wisdom for the wisdom of the Administration during this crisis. Maintaining social distance is a sine qua non to control the disease. The Administration may also solicit opinion of the specialists of infectious/communicable diseases, while taking a decision,” the Bench said.
On Friday, the city administration decided that all shops selling essential commodities like foodgrain, groceries, fruits, vegetables, milk, meat and fish would open from 10 am to 6 pm daily and one person from every house can buy essential items by coming only on foot while maintaining adequate social distance.
The Public Interest Litigation, filed by a city resident, Adityajit Singh, said that the decision would render “redundant” the purpose of social distancing and imposing curfew during the coronavirus pandemic and also sought a stay on the said order.
Chandigarh’s coronavirus case stands at eight as of Saturday. India’s cases meanwhile continues to spiral to 843, with 19 deaths reported so far. The growing number of cases has prompted governments to order lockdown and curfews across the country.
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