The Allahabad High Court has asked the police authorities to make people aware about the adverse impact of lockdown violation instead of putting violators in jails which are already overcrowded.
The bench comprising Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh, stated, “In our opinion, it would be more advisable to create awareness and consciousness amongst people rather than putting them in jail or lockups which are already overcrowded”.
The judges said this while disposing off a petition filed by local residents of Agra, who have been booked by the police for violating lockdown restrictions.
The court was hearing a petition, seeking quashing of FIR lodged against seven persons including Munna, Dilshad and Sharafat for violating lockdown restrictions on May 4 in Tajganj area.
All of them had been booked under section 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of IPC and for violating prohibitory orders by the Agra police.
The court observed that the only allegation against petitioners was that the protocol of social distancing was not followed by the crowd of 8-10 people at a public place, however, there was no allegation of any ‘untoward incident’ taking place.
The petitioners claimed that they were distributing food packets amongst the poor when some local people collected at the spot.
The court ordered that the petitioners will not be arrested in the case till submission of the police report.
The court was further of the opinion that the petitioners should be granted an opportunity to mend themselves.
They have been asked to give an undertaking before the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Agra stating that they will follow all norms and protocol of Covid-19 and will not breach them in future.
The court also stated, “There is no doubt that the denizens of the city are under obligation to follow the protocol of social distancing in collective fight of the country against the pandemic. It is the responsibility of each and every person to be aware of the protocol and follow it strictly”.