Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

As per the notification issued on Sunday by Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, the restrictions in place till May 3 will remain in force during the lockdown period till May 17.

The plea, filed by five lawyers Prakash Jaiswal, Kishore Lambat, Kamal Satuja, Manoj Sable and Shreerang Bhandarkar, has challenged the notification and termed it as illegal, arbitrary and unreasonable.

As per the plea, the Union government on May 2 issued guidelines under which each area or district across the country was divided into three zones red, orange and green depending on the severity of COVID-19 in that particular area.

The guidelines prescribed activities and relaxations on the lockdown in each zone.

The Maharashtra government also issued guidelines, permitting of opening standalone shops, liquor outlets, private offices with 33 per cent and other relaxations in COVID-19 non-containment zones.

It extended the easing of restrictions for shops in the red zones as well.

The petition said even though Nagpur was in the red zone, the guidelines permitted liquor shops, stand-alone shops and private offices with 33 per cent staff strength to start functioning.

"However, on the same day, the Nagpur civic body through its commissioner altered the guidelines issued by the Union government on the ground that considering the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Nagpur, it was necessary to implement even more strict measures during the lockdown period till May 17, the petition said.

The revised lockdown puts Nagpur on par with the lockdown imposed in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune Metropolitan Region and Malegaon (in Nashik district), the plea said.

"The notification issued by the Nagpur civic body is abuse of power and passed without any authority under law, and is illegal, arbitrary, unreasonable and perverse, which deserves to be quashed and set aside, the petition said.

The petition is likely to be taken up for urgent hearing this week.

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