The Uttar Pradesh government will approach the Supreme Court against yesterday’s High Court order for a lockdown till April 26 in five cities – Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur — to tackle Covid. The High Court cannot infringe upon the domain of the executive, says UP.
India’s most populous state refused to enforce the lockdown last evening, as ordered by the Allahabad High Court that said the pandemic had “virtually incapacitated our medical infrastructure…especially in cities like Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur”.
In a statement, the Yogi Adityanath-led government said it had to protect both lives and livelihoods.
The High Court had ordered a series of orders, including a ban on religious activities and shutting establishments, educational institutions and shopping malls.
On a day UP reported a record 30,000-plus new cases in 24 hours, the court also ordered all offices, government or private, barring financial institutions, business offering medical or health services, industrial and scientific establishments, and those providing essential services such as municipal functions and public transport.
The High Court also suspended social functions and gatherings, including weddings, for the duration of the lockdown.
Exceptions could be made, it said, for “already fixed weddings” pending permission from the concerned District Magistrate, whose decision was to be based on “prevailing COVID-19 situation” in the area. But attendance would be limited to 25 people.
Public movement on roads should be restricted, said the High Court, barring for medical emergencies.