In the wake of the Pandemic of Corona Virus (COVID19), let suo motu Public Interest Litigation be registered giving title of Precautionary Measures In The Wake Of The Pandemic of Corona Virus (COVID-19).
Let the following be impleaded as party-respondents:-
(i) State of Gujarat through Chief Secretary, Gandhinagar.
(ii) Principal Secretary, Department of Medical Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat, Gandhinagar.
(iii) Principal Secretary, Legal Department, Government of Gujarat, Gandhinagar.
Notices be issued to all the respondents.
Notice need not be issued as learned Advocate General along with Ms. Nisha Thakore, Ms. Krina Calla, Ms. Vrunda Shah and Mr. J.K. Shah, learned Assistant Government Pleaders are present. Copy of the order be served in the office of Advocate General, Government Pleader and office of Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association.
We are conscious of the fact that not only the Central Government but also the State Governments including the State of Gujarat are taking precautionary measures to control and check the spread and treatment of Corona Virus (COVID-19). However, in order to further strengthen the hands of the Government and also to keep a check and control of the said Virus being spread further in the judicial setup of the State, we have registered this Public Interest Litigation suo motu and issue further directions as follows:
(1) The Advisory issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India and the Government of Gujarat on the above Pandemic be strictly adhered to and followed in letter and spirit.
(2) In addition to the above, we direct the Government of Gujarat:
(i) to provide temperature guns at the security check to check the temperature of entrants in the Court premises;
(ii) In case any person is found to be having temperature above normal, then, to take necessary steps for further investigation forthwith;
(iii) to take necessary steps for sanitizing the Court building and premises on daily basis by using appropriate formulations.
(3) Following directions are issued to the members of the Bar Association, members of the Registry, staff of the High Court and all other stakeholders to take following precautions:
i. Public gatherings may be avoided unless unavoidable.
ii. Counsels may discourage litigants from attending Courts.
iii. Absence of parties appearing in person may not entail any adverse orders.
iv. All precautionary measures as advised by the Government may be taken.
v. Handshake greetings may be avoided and greetings may be with folded hands only.
(4) The above directions contained at Sr.No.(3) to be equally applied to all the subordinate courts in the State of Gujarat.
Let the respondents file an affidavit within a week with regard to the status of the above directions and also apprise the Court of the details of the persons affected by the Corona Virus (COVID-19) in the State of Gujarat and the steps taken by the Government with regard to their treatment.
Let this matter be listed on 20th March, 2020 on the top of the Board.
Registry to send copy of this order to all concerned including print and digital media today itself by fax, email, WhatsApp or by special messenger.