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Uttarakhand HC Dismisses Plea To Declare Haridwar As ‘Green Zone’: COVID-19

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The Uttarakhand High Court at Nainital, on Thursday has dismissed a plea seeking to declare Haridwar as ‘green zone’ instead of ‘red zone’ by the authorities while stating that factors, such as Haridwar being a pilgrimage centre where people may gather in large numbers if such restrictions were not imposed, may have also weighed with the authorities in classifying it as a red zone earlier.

The Petition was filed complaining that, though Haridwar district did not see any increase in Covid-19 cases, it was nonetheless classified as red zone, whiledistricts Dehradun, Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital, which saw asurge in Covid-19 cases, were classified as orange zones.

On which learned Assistant Solicitor Generalappeared for the Union of India, and the learned Chief StandingCounsel appearing for the State Government,brought to the Court’s notice that in Lockdown 4.0, which commencedon 18th May, 2020, the Government of India had left the matter, ofclassifying districts or areas into different coloured zones orcontainment zones, to respective State Governments and pursuantthereto, the Government of Uttarakhand has re-classified zoneswithin the State. As a result, only Almora, Dehradun, Nainital,Pauri Garhwal, Udham Singh Nagar and Uttarkashi districts areclassified as orange zones, and all other districts in the State,including Haridwar, are now classified as green zones.

“In these times of a global pandemic of the Covid-19 disease, stringent measures have been taken, and severe restrictions have been imposed, both by the Government of India and the State Government to prevent its further spread. In their endeavour to protect the life and health of its citizens / inhabitants, the executiveis entitled to some elbow room and a free play in its joints. It is not even the petitioner’s case that such classification of zones hadresulted in an increase in Covid-19 cases in different districts of theState,” noted court in its order.

“Factors, such as Haridwar being a pilgrimage centre where people may gather in large numbers if such restrictions were not imposed, may have also weighed with the authorities in classifying it as a red zone earlier”, said by the bench.

The Division bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan, and Justice R.C. Khulbe, heard the matter, whereby it held that since the petitioner’s grievance, regarding such classification, does not subsist as on date, we see no reason to dwell on this aspect any further. Suffice it, while dismissing the writ petition as infructuous, to make it clear that the order now passed by us shall not disable the petitioner, if he is aggrieved by any unreasonable restriction imposed by the State Government later, to avail his judicial remedies.

Read the order here;

Uttarakhand-HC-order-related-to-calssification-of-zones-by-gpvt

-India Legal Bureau

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