The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Allahabad High Court order which directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose lockdown in the state's five cities till April 26 in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases.
Appearing for the UP government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated the blanket lockdown in UP's five cities Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur, and Gorakhpur will create immense administrative difficulties. He said the state government has issued several directions and taken adequate precautions on the issue.
Mehta told Chief Justice SA Bobde that the UP government was not totally opposing Allahabad's court order. However, "to lock down five cities by judicial order may not be the right approach," he added.
The bench directed that the matter be listed after two weeks.
The SC has also sought a report from CM Yogi Adityanath-led UP government on initiatives taken by it to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday, the Allahabad HC had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose strict restrictions including the closing of malls, shopping complexes, and restaurants till April 26 in five cities, but stopped short of calling it a "complete lockdown".
The UP government however refused to impose a lockdown. Besides, Solicitor General Mehta requested the apex court to take up the matter urgently.
Separately, on Tuesday, the UP government has announced a weekend lockdown from April 24, Saturday. The weekend lockdown will come into effect on Friday at 8 pm and continue till Monday at 7 am. Besides, a night curfew will remain imposed in all the districts.