PIL filed in SC for deployment of military personnel in each state for effective implementation of National Lockdown

A public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court (SC) for the deployment of military personnel in each state for effective implementation of National Lockdown due to COVID-19. 

The petition states that the central and state authorities have “failed to secure the life of the people from coronavirus” because they have failed to stop the crowd from getting collected and due to such inaction of concerned authorities, COVID-19 has spread across the country. 

The petitioner has highlighted, through various incidents, regarding the attack by mobs on social worker, doctors engaged in treating Coronavirus patients, and police force despite the action taken against attackers by UT’s/Government of State. The PIL also highlighted few past incidents such as the assembly of migrant workers from Bihar and UP at the Anand Vihar Bus Terminal, gathering at a Markaz in Nizamuddin, wherein thousands attended a congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat and after the extension of the lockdown being announced by the Prime Minister on 14th April 2020 several instances came in limelight relating to gatherings of thousands of people in Gujarat, Telangana and Mumbai.

The petitioner stated that “These gatherings were allowed to be mobilized when COVID-19 cases have been rapidly increasing across India and these States have been witnessing the Corona cases in multiple, in fact, these States are amongst the top 10 of the pandemic affected cases”.

The PIL emphasizes that the gatherings comprise a part of a “well-hatched plan orchestrated to sabotage Lockdown plan by few antisocial elements”.It was supported by news reports, which state that majority of the people who gathered were not migrant workers who want to go back at their native place and there are many who have gathered empty-handed without luggage[3]

PIL also asserts that there is need to increase security at places where there is a threat to the life of doctors, nurses, etc. who are unceasingly getting attacked and at places where there are incidents relating to people who have been quarantined or are under treatment, trying to run away from hospitals, quarantine centers, etc. which again increases the chance of spread of coronavirus[4]

The relief sought in the PIL seeks following:

  • Direct Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the matter relating to the assembly of people in various parts of the country. 
  • Direct the deployment of military force in each State for proper implementation of lockdown, which has been extended till 3rd May 2020. 
  • Directions in laying down of guidelines, devising a strategy to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens by the Respondents. 

[3]Plea In SC Seeks Deployment of Military In Each State, for Proper Implementation Of National Lockdown, INDIAN DEFENCE RESEARCH WING, (April 20, 2020) https://idrw.org/plea-in-sc-seeks-deployment-of-military-in-each-state-for-proper-implementation-of-national-lockdown/

[4]Plea in SC seeks military deployment for proper implementation of lockdown. TIMES OF INDIA, (April 19, 2020) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/plea-in-sc-seeks-military-deployment-for-proper-implementation-of-lockdown/articleshow/75233750.cms