Supreme Court (File photo)
Supreme Court (File photo)

COVID-19: Plea in SC against invitation advertisement to 'Kumbh Mela'

ANI | Updated: Apr 17, 2021 15:06 IST


New Delhi [India], April 17 (ANI): A Noida-based lawyer has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking immediate strict directions to the Central government and Uttarakhand government to withdraw all the advertisements inviting people to Haridwar for "Kumbh Mela" keeping in view the facts and figures of COVID-19 pandemic.
Sanjai Kumar Pathak, in his petition filed before the Supreme Court on Friday, sought that the Union government, Uttarakhand government, and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) be directed immediately to clear the mass gathering from Haridwar city as soon as possible and prescribe a safety protocol with respect to the people returning from Kumbh to their homes.
The petitioner, Pathak, also sought a direction from the top court to the UOI, Uttarakhand government, to not encourage or promote any gathering or event inconsistent with the spirit and object of the COVID guidelines and or orders issued by the UOI and NDMA.
The petitioner, Pathak, also sought a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to issue direction to the concerned authorities in the States where elections are being held to strictly enforce Covid 19 guidelines against the candidates, campaigners, and public during the election process and to take appropriate action against the violators in accordance with the law.
Pathak, in his petition, a copy accessed by ANI, sought a direction to the authorities to identify the violators of Covid 19 guidelines during the election process and to take appropriate action against them in accordance with the law.
"On April 16, 2021, India reported more than 2 lakh new cases of Corona positive patients. The health infrastructure is crumbling in many states. Hospitals and crematoriums are running out of space. Shortage of essential drugs is reported from many cities," Pathak said, in his petition.

Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Assam, and West Bengal Assembly elections are being held. The respondent number, 4, the ECI, has not been able to enforce the COVID-19 Rules and regulations during the political rallies and many campaigning, Pathak, said in his petition.
The Union Home Minister, the Chief Ministers of respective States, and a host of star campaigners can be seen flouting the COVID-19 norms, Pathak said in his petition.
As India witnesses its highest surge in COVID-19, since the onset of the COVID pandemic, but visuals have surfaced of lakhs of devotees crowding in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, for Kumbh Mela and in the election rallies in States, ignoring the most basic of COVID-19 protocols, Pathak said in his petition.
Even though the disease is currently spreading at breakneck speed across the country, the Indian railways have organised 25 special trains to facilitate congregation and to link Haridwar 'Kumbh Mela' to various locations for the pilgrims as per certain media reports, he said in his petition.
The Union health minister blamed the heightened spread of COVID-19 on ordinary citizens, saying that they "became very careless" and were no longer following social distancing norms, Pathak claimed in his petition, filed before the Supreme Court.
On the one hand, the poor common man on the street is often punished and treated violently by the police and executive authorities for individual violations of Covid-19 rules and regulations in the name of strict enforcement, on the other hand, the authorities are not only permitting but facilitating and promoting congregation of people in the events like Kumbh-2021 and Election rallies, Pathak stated in the petition.
It is visibly clear that two separate and mutually inconsistent standards are being adopted by the authorities in dealing with the citizens of India, Pathak added in his petition. (ANI)

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