The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked a lawyer to deposit Rs 1 lakh as a security deposit, saying that only then it would hear his petition which contends that restrictions owing to coronavirus are not needed. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said the petition, which seeks invalidation of the Epidemic Diseases Act, is frivolous and would waste the court's time.
If petitioner Harshal Mirashi, a lawyer, wanted the plea to be heard, he will have to deposit Rs 1 lakh with the court registry by the end of this week, it said. If the amount is not deposited, the petition would be dismissed, the court said.
Mirashi's petition challenged the constitutional validity of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and sought a direction to stop its enforcement and the lifting of lockdown restrictions on account of the coronavirus pandemic. It also sought an order to restrain the Maharashtra government from reimposing lockdown.
Coronavirus was nothing more than the common flu which has been blown out of proportions and the number of cases has been exaggerated by certain elements to profit by instilling fear in people's minds, the petitioner claimed. Quarantine was "a breach of fundamental rights that causes psychological issues", he argued.
Mirashi also submitted that his petition should be heard as many people have lost jobs due to lockdown.