Keeping in mind the surging COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh, especially in the state's capital city, the government has imposed a weekend lockdown. Earlier, the authorities had announced a weekly lockdown on Sundays, till the 15th of May but now, the instruction will be applicable on the upcoming Saturdays and Sundays, until further orders. Starting from 8 PM on Friday till 7 AM on Monday, this lockdown command will be in force. It is to be noted, essential services will remain operational.
Headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, the SC granted an interim stay on the Allahabad High Court ordinance
On the 19th of April, the Allahabad HC had urged for an absolute lockdown in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur till April 26 but the state government decided to go against the suggestion. Consequently, the UP government moved to the Supreme Court, challenging this order. After much deliberations, the apex body, headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, granted an interim stay on the Allahabad High Court ordinance.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on Tuesday, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, mentioned that the state government has previously obeyed several directions issued by the High Court but enforcing an absolute lockdown in the 5 cities would not be appropriate. Mehta further added that the state government has undertaken various measures to curb the pandemic, along with adequate precautions but a blanket lockdown would create immense administrative difficulties.
The top court also appointed senior advocate P.S. Narasimha as amicus curiae while requesting the state government to draft the steps being taken to tackle the pandemic and the next hearing in regards to the matter, will be held after two weeks.