MUMBAI: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court said while the government machinery is expected to take effective measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens are also expected to remind themselves of their fundamental duties.
Justice PB Varale on Wednesday was hearing a suo moto (on its own) petition on the difficulties faced by migrant workers, daily wagers and health workers amid the pandemic.
The court in its order noted that the Union and state governments have been issuing notifications and guidelines asking people to avoid gatherings and congregations and maintain social distancing. "However, there are still some citizens who are committing breach of these directions and guidelines very casually and some citizens are even indulging in acts of disturbance of social and communal harmony," Justice Varale said.
"In such a situation, in my opinion, this is right time to remind ourselves the fundamental duties of a citizen. Often, citizens show serious concern about their fundamental rights, but then forget the fundamental duties," the court said.
The court observed that in the backdrop of this unforeseen situation, citizens should remember Article 51-A of the Constitution of India that refers to fundamental duties. "In this difficult time, we may remind ourselves that it is a fundamental duty of a citizen to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India and probably, this is an immediate need of the time," the court said.
Aurangabad District Collector Uday Chaudhari had informed the court on Wednesday that all migrant workers, daily wagers and needy persons were provided meals, shelter and medicines. The bench directed the government and the civic body to also consider providing a link between the needy and charitable organisations that are willing to help out.
The district administration may also consider establishing a link between farmers, who supply vegetables, fruits and food grains, and consumers, the court directed.
On the issue of problems faced by health workers in their housing societies, the court was informed that the authorities were spreading awareness to ensure that doctors, nurses and other medical staff are not troubled.
Justice Varale was also informed that the state government had sanctioned the purchase of 3,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and 50,000 hydroxychloroquine 400 mg tablets. All health workers are now equipped with PPE and there are as many as 919 kits available in reserve, the court was told. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on April 15.