Gujarat HC raps govt. for ignoring orders

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The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday hit out at the State authorities for “ignoring its orders” and asked why the Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad (AMC) was behaving like an indisciplined child.

During the hearing of a suo motu public interest litigation plea about the COVID-19 situation in the State, the court held that all municipal corporations must act as per the policies of the State government on pandemic management.

Chief Justice Vikram Nath during the hearing observed that the Court had been asking for the uploading of real-time information in at least three orders passed so far. but the municipal corporation ignored them.

“The State has to take care that none of the municipal corporations do their manmani (own thing) as the Corporations have to act in accordance with the policy of the State and in conformation with the State,” the court said.

The division bench led by the Chief Justice has been proactive in passing directions about the COVID-19 situation in the State and in Ahmedabad city.

The Court has earlier also expressed displeasure about the way the AMC was managing the severe second wave.

Senior lawyer Mihir Joshi appearing for the civic body submitted that it was working “in tandem” with the State government and it “still believes that a more efficient system is the centralised one” while it abides by the court’s orders.

The bench also refused to accept the civic body’s request to allow Ahmedabad residents to return to the city from other States without an RT-PCR test if the person is “leaving and returning within 72 hours”.

The court said it was not inclined to make an exception for the city residents .

The HC had in a past order said the AMC’s press note exempting residents of the city from obtaining RT-PCR negative report before returning from other States was contrary to the Gujarat’s notification that required anybody entering the State to carry such a report.

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