The AAP government told the Delhi High Court on Thursday that it may decide in three to four days whether to impose night curfew in the national capital to contain the spread of COVID-19, as has been done in some other states, but no decision has been taken as of now. The submission was made before a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad by senior advocate Sandeept Sethi who was appearing for the Delhi government along with additional standing counsel Satyakam.
The submission was made in response to the court's query whether the Delhi government was going to impose night curfew, which has been permitted in the latest guidelines issued by the Centre on November 25. "We are actively considering whether to impose night curfew. No decision has been taken on it," the Delhi government told the court.
"Actively considering? As active as COVID-19?", the court said, seeking to know as to how soon the decision would be taken. "May be three to four days," the Delhi government counsel replied.
The court was hearing a PIL by advocate Rakesh Malhotra seeking increase in the COVID-19 testing numbers in the national capital and getting speedy results. During the hearing, the central government said that according to the latest guidelines issued by it, states and Union Territories (UTs) may impose local restrictions, including night curfews, based on their assessment of the situation on the ground.
However, for imposing lockdowns outside containment areas, the states and UTs will need to take the approval of the Centre, central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia said. With regard to restricted opening of market areas, the Delhi government said the issue was before the central government and awaiting its approval. Delhi government also told the court that it has met with market associations and resident welfare associations (RWAs) for inviting suggestions to curtail the spread of COVID-19 infections.
To this the bench remarked that the meeting "would only get the ball rolling" and the Delhi government "needs to take concrete and tangible steps to involved the market associations and RWAs for handling the situation at the ground level and to spread message to all concerned with regard to maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and taking all kinds of measures to prevent spread of COVID-19".