The Madras High Court has on 20 March, directed the State government and the Greater Chennai Corporation to provide food and shelter to the poor people, in light of ‘Janta Curfew’ called for by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to be observed on Sunday i.e. 22 March, a measure to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
The bench comprising of Justices N Kirubakaran and R Hemalatha was hearing a habeas corpus petition, citing the difficulties being faced by the underprivileged section of the country, in the present time of the pandemic. Advocate AP Suryaprakasam, appearing for the Petitioner pointed out that people who are living on the platforms, without any shelter are to be protected and they should be provided with food.
Subsequently, the bench observed that steps must be taken for the protection of the poor and shelter-less, who will be the worst hit by these days of the Coronavirus crisis.
“The government and the Corporation are directed to inform through media about the availability of night shelters for poor people. It is also their duty to provide food for them during the curfew, when hotels and shops would not be opened and poor workers should be taken care of by this Court, especially during ‘Janata Curfew’, as this Court is a Constitutional Court” observed the bench.
The court further directed the government to utilize the Community Halls, Marriage Halls and Schools for this purpose on 22 March, i.e. Janta curfew. Meanwhile, the city corporation has announced that all 51 shelters maintained by itself would be open on Sunday, and food and essentials will be served to people
Further, as per reports, the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Justice SM Subramaniam has decided to donate his one-month salary of Rs. 2.25 lakh, to the welfare of unorganized labor-power, who have missed their earnings due to the practice of social-distancing, as a result, to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. A cheque for the same will be handed over to the State Chief Secretary, today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide Janta curfew to be carried out from 7 am to 9 pm on 22 March, Sunday.