The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a petition seeking the constitution of a Commission to assess the impact of coronavirus pandemic on India's economy. Hearing a plea filed by advocate Dr Shivji Shukla, the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court fixed the matter for hearing on May 4, 2020, and directed the petitioner to provide a copy of the PIL to the central government.
In his plea filed before the high court, Shulka had sought directions to the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government for the constitution of a Commission to assess the monetary losses to the government as well as the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While hearing the plea, a division bench of Justices Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Karunesh Singh Pawa said that since the pandemic is ongoing, it can't give the relief sought by the petitioner and posted the matter for further hearing on May 4, a day after the nation-wide lockdown ends.
"At present, the effect of the COVID-19 is going on and, therefore, no such relief as prayed in this Public Interest Litigation can be granted to the petitioner nor we issue any notice to the respondent nos. 3 to 5. Thus, an appropriate course for the petitioner is to withdraw this writ petition or to argue it on the question of maintainability," the bench remarked.
'Provide a copy of PIL to Centre'
Appearing on behalf of the Centre, Assistant Solicitor General of India BS Pandey said that he was unable to comment on the matter since he has not received the complete copy of the petition. On this, the court directed the petitioner to supply a complete copy of the writ petition to Pandey and adjourned the hearing till the next date.
"We direct the petitioner to supply a copy of the complete set of the writ petition to Sri S.B. Pandey, learned counsel for the respondent no.1 as well as respondent no.2 through e-mail within three days from today and argue the matter on the question of maintainability of the writ petition on the next date of listing, failing which, we will consider the objection with regard to the maintainability of the writ petition and pass appropriate order on the next date of listing," the high court said.