Chandigarh, March 29, 2020-
Coming as a big succour for the local authorities, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Sunday stamped relaxations granted by the Chandigarh administration daily for eight hours amidst the curfew to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Dismissing a public interest litigation (PIL) against the decision to open shops in the city for some duration, the court through video conference observed it was a policy matter.
At the same time, a bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and R.K. Jain asked the authorities to observe a physical distance and its parameters while providing essential items.
Also, the administration was asked to monitor and regulate the process by taking stringent action against the violators.
The administration’s order of March 27 to relax curfew was valid and issued in larger public interest and the scope of judicial interference in a policy matter was very limited, the court observed.
“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 or communicable diseases, while taking a decision,” the bench added.
Hearing the PIL by Adityajit Singh Chadha, the bench in its first hearing a day earlier issued a notice of motion to the administration and others.
The decision to daily open all essential item shops from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. was decided at a meeting held under the chairmanship of V.P. Singh Badnore, Governor, Punjab and Administrator, Chandigarh, on March 27. (Agency)