HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Monday had both bouquets and brickbats for the State government on steps taken so far to rein in Covid-19. It also wanted to know if the State was prepared to face the Covid-19 third wave. It asked the government to submit its action plan should the third wave strike.
Resuming hearing of the case, the court, while appreciating the police for the effective enforcement of lockdown, however, chastised the State government for not conducting one lakh tests despite its directive to this effect several times.
Cautioning about possible trafficking and illegal adoptions of children orphaned by the death of their parents due to Covid-19, it wanted to know how the State proposed to go about in rescuing such children.
The court expressed concern over the staff dying due to Corona who had taken part in conducting the recent elections to urban local bodies. It asked the Education Department officials to attend the next session of the court and explain what they were going to do as there were reports that teachers drafted for election duty had died of Covid-19.
The High Court also took exception to non-payment of wages to outsourced and contract employees deployed in hospitals. It said that the government should keep in mind how they are doing their duty, risking their lives. It directed the arrears of these workers to be immediately cleared.The court appreciated the efforts of the Police Department in enforcing lockdown and night curfew after the DGP submitted a report in which he stated that 98 cases had been registered against those who were selling essential medicines necessary for curing Covid-19 in the black market.
The DGP brought to the notice of the court that at the hospitals, as many as 57 help desks had been set up and that between May 1 and 14, a total of 4.31 lakh cases had been booked for various violations of lockdown rules. They included 3.39 lakh cases for not wearing masks, 22,560 cases for not maintaining social distance in public places and 26,082 cases for defiance of curfew. The police collected `31 crore as fine from those who violated lockdown rules.
Keep MP under medical care till further orders, says court
The Delhi High Court provided Y Category security cover to the MP in view of threats that followed his anti-party rant. A vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai directed that Raju be forthwith taken to the Army Hospital in Secunderabad and be kept under medical care till further orders. The court directed the head of the Army Hospital to constitute a medical board of three doctors to examine the MP. A judicial officer nominated by the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court should be present during the medical examination, the top court directed. The cost of medical treatment should be borne by Raju.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Raju, told the bench that the case of sedition has been invoked as he was critical of the State government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis. Raju was arrested on May 14 and a day later, his bail plea was dismissed by the AP High Court on the ground that the same ought to be moved before the sessions court. The CID has accused him of delivering hate speeches against certain communities and spreading disaffection against the government. Meanwhile, TV5 News Channel has moved the top court against the FIR registered against it by AP police for sedition after it telecast ‘offending’ speeches of Raju.
A mixed report card
The High Court, while appreciating the police for the effective enforcement of lockdown, however, chastised the State government for not conducting one lakh tests despite its directive to this effect several times, and also raised several other Covid-related issues/