SC rejects plea seeking lockdown guidance on crowd control, police action

Topics Coronavirus | Supreme Court | Police

Crowd being dispersed during lockdown
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking direction to the Centre to formulate guidelines to regulate movement of public and restrict police from allegedly beating those stepping out to purchase essentials during the nationwide lockdown. PM Modi on Tuesday announced extension of lockdown to May 3 to contain spread of the virus.

A bench of justices N V Ramana, S K Kaul and B R Gavai found no merit in the plea which alleged that due to the lack of guidelines, the authorities, including police, are "clueless" as to how to deal with this situation.

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"We find no merit in the writ petition. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed," the bench said in its order.

The plea, filed by a Guwahati-based advocate, said guidelines are needed to avoid crowding and controlling movement of people who step out of their houses to purchase essential commodities.

"However, since the announcement (of the lockdown), numerous videos have surfaced on social media platforms, showcasing incidents of police brutality being inflicted on persons who are violating the lockdown. The violence ranges from making the violators crawl on the road to viciously employing lathi charge against them," the plea said.

It claimed that such incidents have caused a "situation of panic" amongst the common public as to how they will go out to purchase essential goods and what will happen in case of a medical emergency.

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