Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India
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Lucknow: The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Allahabad High Court order directing the Yogi Adityanath government to impose lockdown in five cities – Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj and Gorakhpur – till April 26 in view of the second wave of coronavirus.

After hearing the arguments from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Chief Justice S.A Bobde stayed the Allahabad High Court order. The Solicitor General contended that a complete lockdown in five major cities of Uttar Pradesh will create many administrative difficulties.

“To Lockdown five cities by a judicial order may not be right approach,” argued Mehta.

After granting a stay, the Chief Justice has sought a report from the Yogi Adityanath government on the measures taken by it in connection with second surge of coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh. The apex court has also appointed Advocate P.S. Narasimha as an amicus curiae to assist in the case and listed the matter 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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