The Bombay High Court has disposed of a petition raising concerns over enforcement of the lockdown by the police in Maharashtra noting that even educated citizens are not following the required norms.
The petition was filed by a Nagpur resident Sandip Nair raising concerns over the ‘humiliating’ manner in which the police are punishing violators.
The petition contended that while thepoliceforce is, by and large, discharging its duties in an exemplary manner, there are several instances which would be a blot on the police machinery.
The petitioner pointed out instances wherein persons, including senior citizens and women who have violated the lockdown norms, are made to hold placards stating they are an ‘enemy to the society and humanity’.
Their photographs are taken and made viral on social media, published in newspapers and displayed on news channels, it stated.
The petitioner argued that while thepolicewas entitled to take all possible measures within the four corners of law to enforce the lockdown, however, making a humiliating spectacle of the violators is a serious infringement of human rights and fundamental rights.
A division bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Amit Borkar noted that the police and other authorities have made repeated requests in a dignified manner with folded hands, offering roses as a mark of protests against movement, avoiding registration of offences and imposition of penalties to people to maintain the lockdown restrictions.
“In spite of this, if well-educated people claiming to be respected and dignifiedcitizens start and continue to violate norms meant for their own safety and security, then should this court take cognisance or entertain a petition complaining that people are not being treated in a dignified manner when they are found to be violating the lockdown norms?” the bench asked.
The HC also took note of the affidavit filed by Nagpur police commissioner on May 19 assuring that all police personnel have been instructed to avoid imposing such punishments on the violators.
On May 8, when the petition was heard by another bench, the police commissioner was asked to ensure that no person is made to face any unusual or humiliating punishment by the police.