Hiding Covid deaths not in public interest: Gujarat High Court

Ahmedabad

The Gujarat High Court has observed that not sharing true figures is not in public interest, it wants the state to be proactive, instead of being reactive in handling the Covid-19 pandemic and so it has asked to wake up and act.

The court has a word of advice for political leaders: “don’t flout Covid norms, lead by example.”

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala observed it taking suo motu cognizance and hearing other PILs. In its interim order passed on September 4 and made public on Wednesday, it observed, “ It is necessary to disclose the true and correct figures of the Covid deaths and Covid positive cases so people can understand and comprehend the seriousness of the situation. People will not take things for granted. This aspect should be borne in mind by the state government as a suggestion from this court.”

Though to a large extent the court is satisfied by government action, it believes, “We take cognizance of the deteriorating situation prevailing in Saurashtra, more particularly, Rajkot. We expect the state govt and the Rajkot Municipal Corporation to ensure the situation does not go out of their control.”

Coming down heavily on politicians, it said, “The state politicians are expected to lead masses and not flout the norms or the rules and regulations prescribed to combat the pandemic.” The next hearing is on October 9.

The court has further observed, “Today, Rajkot and Jamnagar are the two cities which are hit extremely bad. This situation could definitely have been averted if timely action and precautions would have been taken.”

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