A bench of the Telangana High Court, comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, today hit out at the TRS government once again for its inability to take strong measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
Describing the government's attitude towards the pandemic as callous, the bench also slammed the government for its "unsatisfactory and feeble" response to the PILs filed on matters related to the control of Covid-19.
"Your affidavits, filed in response to the PILs on Covid-10 prevention measures, is rather disappointing. It has failed to outline the measures that are being taken to check crowds at public places like film theatres," the court told the government.
Advocate General B S Prasad, representing the government, further infuriated the HC when he said that the government was preparing itself to tackle the situation.
Prasad then informed the judges that the government was following the Centre’s prevention guidelines prompting the Chief Justice to point out that the Centre had asked the states to devise their own context-specific plans to combat the pandemic.
The bench also faulted the government for checking only international passengers arriving in Telangana but for not taking any steps to check inter-state travellers for Covid-19.
Bringing up the issue of the heavy footfall many public places were witnessing once again, it enquired whether the government had bothered to issue any GOs to restrict the number of people visiting film theatres, pubs, banquet halls, malls and other public places that attract large crowds.
"Why does the state government seem so keen to continue to run bars and malls at a time of such crisis? It is alarming to see this failure to take measures to control congestion on the streets and at other public places. Such callousness is exposing the public to a deadly disease," it added.
Giving the government two days, the bench asked it to decide on whether it would impose a lockdown or stringent curfews in the state to arrest the rapid increases of Covid-19 cases, and told it that if it failed to take a call on the matter within the stipulated period, the court would issue the required orders itself.
Many have pointed out that the government's insistence
on not imposing a fresh lockdown or any curfews to restrict people's movements is a questionable choice, especially as various other states have been taking exactly such measures to stop Covid-19 from spreading further.