The plea was filed by an NGO seeking imposition of Financial emergency under Article 360 of the constitution due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19. The financial emergency will ensure the recovery of the Indian economy after this 21 days lockdown in the country. Due to this lockdown, the economic activities have come to a standstill.
After the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 1.7 lakh crore economic relief package on 26th March, this PIL was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a declaration of financial emergency under Article 360 of the Constitution by the centre to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic.
The PIL was filed by the centre for accountability and systematic change [CASC], it contended that the lockdown couldn’t be managed under the Sec 144 of criminal procedure code or a notification under the disaster management act, 2005 or the provisions of the epidemic disease act, 1897. It also sought directions from the court for the suspension of the utility bills for electricity, water, gas, telephone, internet, etc. And also the suspension of the EMI payments during this 21 day lockdown period. It also urged to strictly adhere to non-disruption of the essential services.
“Divergence of steps, taken by different authorities, is causing confusion and unlawfulness and in no way can be a solution to a problem as grave as COVID-19 “, the petition said.
The petition also submitted, “The closure of courts affects the right to get justice. It is submitted that this requires the imposition of emergency as per the constitution”.