The division bench comprising of chief justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and justice Kh Nobin has issued notices to the state government following the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the prohibition of activities which have otherwise been exempted from the purview of ongoing lockdown. The notices should be returnable by June 2, said the bench.
The PIL was filed by Huidrom Rajeshwar of Keishampat Leimajam Leikai through senior advocate M Hemchandra against the state government represented by chief secretary and five others. It was filed under article 226 of Indian Constitution to allow all activities that are permitted or exempted as per order issued by chief secretary of Manipur on May 18.
The order of chief secretary, it has been stated that the lockdown has been extended till May 31 while exempting the activities such as locality based retail shops, dealing with essential commodities like groceries for daily uses, vegetables, fruits, poultry, meat and fish will be opened in all districts from 6 am to 2 pm on all days except Sundays; petrol pumps as per notification of CAF&PD department, commercial and private establishment including MSME sector outside limits municipality corporation and municipalities subject to strict compliance of social distancing and guidelines issued, shops dealing with raw materials for handloom between 61 pm to 2 pm, shops dealing with construction materials like cement between 6 am to 2 pm, all shops dealing with motor sale shops and mobile, spare parts between 6 am to 2 pm, construction activities within the limits of municipalities corporation where workers are outside has been totally prohibited. The PIL alleged that the order was violating the right to life and right to livelihood.
The litigation also seeks to direct respondents not to prohibit or obstruct or hinder impede while carrying out activities which are permitted by the particular order so as to improve state’s economy.
However, several activities have been prohibited from the purview of the lockdown by May 18 order, which is not only violation/misuse of office by home department but also gross violation of the right to life and right to livelihood enshrined in Indian constitution, PIL mentioned.
The court according to PIL submission observed that the government order dated on May 18 provides that specified activities are prohibited throughout the state and certain activities are permitted from May 18 to May 31, the government however indicated that there will be total curfew in Imphal City and other districts headquarters. This conundrum created difficulty for the citizens and required to be clarified. The advocate general however sought time to clarify on the issues.