The Gauhati High Court has taken suo-motu cognizance of the “alarming rise” in the number of Covid-19 cases in Nagaland, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh and sought views from the three northeastern states on the matter, court officials said.
In another development, the Itanagar bench of the Gauhati High Court has stayed a June 30 order of the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary, saying that the order discriminates between vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons for the issuance of temporary permits by the state government for developmental works in both public and private sectors in the state.
The principal bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, Justice N. Kotiswar Singh, and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak said, “We take suo motu notice of the alarming situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is in its second wave, in the states of Nagaland, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh, where the positivity rate is extremely high.”
The court asked the advocate generals of the three states to be present on the next date of hearing on July 23.
“The court will require their (advocate generals’) assistance in getting the true picture in their respective states about the present Covid-19 situation and the measures being taken by the respective state governments to handle the crisis,” said the order passed on Monday.
According to the latest data, the Covid positivity rate in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland stands at 7.73 percent, 10.85 percent, and 6.51 percent, respectively, against a national daily positivity rate of 1.68 percent and weekly positivity rate of 2.06 percent.
Meanwhile, Justice Nani Tagia of the Itanagar bench of the Gauhati High Court said in an order that the June 30 order of the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary made a classification of persons who are vaccinated against Covid-19 and those who are not vaccinated for the purpose of issuance of temporary permits for developmental works in both public and private sectors in the state.
“The order violates Articles 14, 19 (1) (d) and 21 of the Constitution of India, calling for an interim order in the case. Accordingly, till the returnable date, the order issued by the Chief Secretary discriminates between vaccinated persons and non-vaccinated persons for issuance of temporary permits for developmental works in both public and private sectors in the state, shall remain stayed,” the nine-page order said.
The bench fixed July 28 as the next date of hearing.