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Considering night, weekend curfew, decision in 3-4 days: Delhi govt to HC

Considering night, weekend curfew, decision in 3-4 days: Delhi govt to HC
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New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it is "actively considering imposing some kind of night or weekend curfew" in the Capital keeping in mind the present COVID-19 situation.

The response by Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi, on behalf of the state government, came when a division bench led by Chief Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad asked as to what were the steps it was taking to control the infection levels keeping in mind the "firefighting" being done by other states.

When asked how soon they will decide on the restrictions, the Delhi government said a decision was yet to be taken and that it would be clear in three to four days. However, the Centre told the court that any government would need to take its permission to impose any kind of lockdown in a non-containment zone area.

The bench was hearing a petition moved by lawyer Rakesh Malhotra which sought directions to the state to ramp up COVID-19 testing levels in the city.

On being informed that a total of 40,000 RT-PCR tests have been conducted as of Wednesday, the court said, "It has taken that kind of pushing and prodding to do this and at what cost…look at the number of deaths."

Regarding the fines being issued for COVID-19 violations, the court asked whether the funds collected are being utilised properly or "are being simply collected and dumped."

The court sought a reply from the government as to how these fines are being used for COVID-19 prevention measures. "There should be a mechanism for violators to deposit fines online and not through a cash transaction," Justice Kohli remarked.

On the issue of a cap of 50 persons set by the state government on social functions, the bench asked the state government as to what steps it was taking to check if the same person is not booking a particular venue multiple times to bypass the direction.

"This is the season of social functions…we can't lose sight of that…make sure that marriage venues do not become superspreaders," the court said.

The court, while posting the matter to December 3, also asked the government to provide the data on the status of feedback from patients who have called the COVID-19 helpline.

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