SC stays HC order directing UP govt to impose strict restrictions in 5 cities

Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted interim stay on the Allahabad High Court order directing the Uttar Pradesh government to impose strict restrictions till April 26 in five cities amid surge in COVID-19 cases.

“There shall be an interim stay on the order of the high court,” a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said while hearing the state government’s plea against the order passed on Monday.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, said the state has taken several steps to contain the spread of coronavirus but to “lockdown five cities by a judicial order may not be the right approach”.

He said the state government has issued several directions and taken adequate precaution on the issue.

Mehta said the high court order would create immense administrative difficulties.

The apex court, while granting interim stay on the high court order, appointed senior advocate P S Narasimha as amicus curiae to assist in the matter.

The bench directed that the matter be listed after two weeks.

Earlier in the day, the apex court agreed to hear the plea of the Uttar Pradesh government against the high court order after the state requested urgent listing of the matter.

The high court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose strict restrictions including closing of malls, shopping complexes and restaurants till April 26 in five cities, but stopped short of calling it a “complete lockdown”.

Allahabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Nagar and Gorakhpur are the cities in which the high court has directed curbs.

The high court had said these curbs are “nowhere close to a complete lockdown”.

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