Supreme Court Stays Lockdown Directive Of Allahabad High Court After Yogi Govt’s PleaSupreme Court of India (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (20 April) stayed the Allahabad High Court judgement which directed the Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government to impose a lockdown in Prayagraj, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Gorakhpur till 26 April over rising Covid-19 cases.

While appearing for the Yogi government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had argued that "to lock down five cities by judicial order may not be the right approach". A bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde stayed the High Court judgement and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks, reports Live Law.

The apex court, while pausing the lockdown, asked the state government to submit various steps it has taken to control the pandemic.

Hearing a PIL on increasing Covid-19 cases in the state, a division bench comprising Justice Siddharth Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar observed, “We are conscious that before imposing a lockdown, the government has to work out modalities But if we have not imposed a lockdown, it does not mean we do not believe in it. We direct the government to consider imposition of a complete lockdown in the state for at least two weeks. This would not break the Covid chain, but also give respite to health workers.”

“If a popular government has its own political compulsions in not checking public movement during this pandemic, we cannot remain passive spectators. Public health is top priority and any complacency will cause havoc. We cannot shirk away from our constitutional duty to save innocent people from the pandemic, which is spreading due to the negligence of a few,” the High Court observed.

On Monday (19 April), the UP government issued a statement, saying a “full lockdown would not be implemented in cities right now. People are voluntarily shutting establishments.”

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