ON May 30, the Allahabad High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to release those who have completed their quarantine period provided they have tested negative and there is no legal impediment in releasing them. The order followed a Public Interest Litigation (filed) by advocate Shaad Anwar seeking the release of the members of Tablighi Jamat, who were quarantined after they returned to Uttar Pradesh after visiting Markaz Nizamuddin, Delhi in the morning on March 3.
The division bench of Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Saurabh Shyam Shamshery also directed the government to constitute a three members committee in every district to ensure smoother, greater and more effective functioning of the quarantine centers. This Committee must not only supervise the functioning of quarantine centres but also needs to see that the centers are properly maintained, controlled and administered. It must provide all necessary help, assistance and guidance that arise due to difficulties and problems faced by persons quarantined at the centre.
In response to the court’s notice, the state government had informed the court that a total of 3001 Indians and 325 foreigners, who are Tablighi Jamaat members, were quarantined. Out of these all, 3001 Indian members were released, while 21 members have been detained in jail and as such none of the members of the Tablighi Jamaat are in Quarantine Centers. All Indian Jamaat members have returned to their respective States barring few members who have made their own private arrangements for their stay. Although the petitioner submitted that few Indian members of Tablighi Jamaat, he failed to provide details of such members.
“Since the petitioner has failed to disclose the names of such members of Tablighi Jamat, who have not been released from the Quarantine Center, we find no reasons to disbelieve the statement made by the learned Additional Advocate General, Mr. Manish Goyal appearing on behalf of the State”, the bench said.
Additionally, the bench took note of the fact that many migrant workers are under quarantine at different places in the State of Uttar Pradesh and they should be released as soon as their quarantine period is over.
“As a guardian of the Constitution, this Court has a duty to interfere whenever there is an abuse of power or usurpation of a right conferred by the Constitution. Persons, who have completed their quarantine period and have tested negative cannot be further detained in the Quarantine Centers against their wishes. It would be in violation of personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India”, the bench noted.
It also ordered the Registrar General of the High Court to forward a copy of the order to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow forthwith for its onward circulation to all the District Magistrates of the State to ensure its compliance.
Read the Order here: