Gujarat HC files suo motu PIL over coronavirus, issues notices to govt
Ahmedabad, Mar 13: The Gujarat High Court on Friday registered a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) and issued notice to the state government, including the health as well as legal departments, to stop the spread of coronavirus in the state's judicial set-up.
The PIL was registered sou motu by the division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice A J Shastri. In the order, the bench listed various steps to be taken to stop the spread of the virus in the state and asked the government and its departments to file affidavits within a week with regard to the "status of the directions".
The court also asked the government to apprise it of the details of the persons, if any, affected by coronavirus in Gujarat and the "steps taken by the Government with regard to their treatment".
The matter will be heard on March 20. While observing that the state government as well as the Centre were taking "precautionary measures to control and check the spread and treatment of coronavirus", the chief justice said in the order that the PIL has been filed to "strengthen the hands of the government and to stop the virus from spreading into the judicial set-up of the state".
Calling for strict adherence to the central advisory on coronavirus, the bench directed the government to provide "temperature guns" at the security checkpoints of the high court to check the temperature of visitors.
The bench also asked the authorities to take necessary steps for sanitizing the court building and premises on a daily basis by using appropriate formulations. The bench asked the advocates to "discourage" litigants from attending courts.
"Absence of parties appearing in person may not entail any adverse orders," said Nath in his order, adding that instead of handshakes, people should greet people with folded hands.
Nath added that these directions "be equally applied to all the subordinate courts in the state of Gujarat".