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Madras HC permits volunteers and political parties to distribute relief with conditions

The court also observed that the government officials concerned should be informed 48 hours in advance and not more than three volunteers should participate in the distribution. 

Published: 16th April 2020 12:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2020 12:49 PM   |  A+A-

‘Pasi Illa Tiruchy’ volunteers provide food and clothing to the homeless. (File Photo | EPS)

CHENNAI: Madras High Court on Thursday ordered permitting volunteers and political parties to distribute relief materials subject to conditions imposed by the government on the plea made by DMK. The court also observed that the government officials concerned should be informed  48 hours in advance and not more than three volunteers should participate in the distribution. 

The plea filed by DMK was against the restrictions imposed by the state in the distribution of relief materials by volunteers and political parties to the people affected in the COVID-19 lockdown.

A special division bench of justices R Subbiah and R Pongiappan on Thursday heard the submissions made by the state advocate general Vijay Narayan. He argued that for safety and to contain the virus from spreading was the primary reason for imposing the conditions. 

DMK's comparison of delivering food to the needy by the volunteers and the business carried out by food delivery chains shows the party's lack of understanding of the difference between them, argued the AG. 

He further stated whether the DMK party is carrying out the entire relief operations for the sake of publicity. 

Senior Counsel P Wilson for DMK on Wednesday argued that the press release is inhumane. He said that starvation deaths have begun in the State and the government should be magnanimous to accept all contributions.

Recording the detailed submissions by both the parties on Thursday, the special division bench passed interim orders on the plea permitting the volunteers to carry out the distribution subject to the conditions specified by the government. The court also said that the government officials concerned should be informed  48 hours in advance on the location and not more than three volunteers should participate in each of the distribution.  The Court will be passing detailed orders on the plea later. 

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