Kriti Agrawal –
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee of the Madras High Court expressed dissatisfaction that the police were not effectively enforcing the continuing lockdown in Tamil Nadu to combat covid.
Sanjib Banerjee said that the lockdown had been lifted and that it was now party time on the highways.
The Chief Justice raised the issue with Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram, saying it was distressing to see individuals moving around on the roadways on a regular basis, despite the fact that the lockdown was still in effect and only a few relaxations had been allowed for the people’s comfort.
The CJ reminded the AG that though some concessions were made for the public, it appears that it is party time. He stated that the general population must behave in their best interests, and people must develop a sense of discipline in us.
Mr Shunmugasundaram stated that formerly, police officers were beating up people, but then strict orders had been issued not to beat up individuals and instead to simply enquire about their documentation, e-passes, and other similar goods. They are now speaking gently and politely.
According to the CJ, police could use the public address system to increase public awareness and ask people not to linger on roadways or congregate in public places unnecessarily.
Because Coimbatore had previously seen a significant increase in covid instances, the CJ requested that more awareness be raised and actions be taken in Coimbatore and the surrounding districts in particular.
CJ Banerjee cautioned that, “My goal was not to counsel the police on what to do or what not to do, and that I was just emphasizing the importance of enforcing the existing lockdown. It appears like the lockdown has been lifted. We have all kinds of regulations in the High Court, but if you go out on the streets, it appears to be party time.”
The AG stated that he fully understands the Court’s feelings and that he will advise the police authorities accordingly.