High Court Directive: No Political Rallies During COVID-19 Pandemic

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court issued a stern warning to the government on Wednesday.

It asked the state government to prepare for the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic by learning from the devastation caused by the second wave and ensure that no political rallies are held during the pandemic. The court will take strict action if the government fails in its duty.

“You will have to start activating machinery to stop political rallies defying Covid protocols. We will not allow this to happen. We are shutting down courts for physical hearings and these political leaders are organizing rallies with thousands of persons. The last rally was on the issue of naming of airport with over 25,000 people present. Can it not wait for Covid to get over?” the court

The division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni was referring to a massive rally held on Monday where protesters opposed naming of Navi Mumbai Airport after Shiv Sena patriarch Balasaheb Thackeray and demanded that it be named after socialist leader DB Patil.

There have been a number of other political rallies, most of them demanding Maratha and OBC quotas.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation over shortage and black marketing of anti-COVID drugs during its procurement and distribution.

“Everyone is trying to take mileage. Why? Let it wait for some time. Are vaccination camps less important? We should all take lessons from the second wave and be prepared for the third wave. We all invited it and saw what happened. We should avoid it,” the bench noted.

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