SOCIAL DISTANCING:JUSTICE SAHI TO ADVOCATES, LITIGANTS

BY : Mukesh Kumar Mishra 

Background:

As we all know, the outbreak of  the Novel Coronavirus aka Covid-19 is slowing down the human life cycle and the Economy as well. Right now, more than 160 countries are fighting from this pandemic (declared  by the World Health Organisation). More than 300k cases reported worldwide and about 100k people recovered  from this deadly disease. The death toll is also on the rise these days. India is also battling with this pandemic and fighting in the front foot to defeat this deadly virus. In this regard , the Madras High Court Chief Justice A.P. Sahi urges and placed a request before the Lawyers, Complainants and other judicial staff members to follow the guideline prescribes by the World Health Organisation and also follow the ‘Social Distancing’ and refrain from mass inggratuitously. The mainly state the prevention of the people to come in direct contact with other person, avoid unnecessary gathering in public places and also distance themselves from the crowd.  

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CURRENT ISSUE:

The key issue in this case was urging the people to follow the guidelines prescribed by the WHO and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which is ‘‘Social Distancing’’ .

Conclusion:

Chief Justice of Madras High Court, A.P. Sahi, wrote an open letter to address this drastic situation by himself. He requested the lawyers, complainants, and others who come in the court buildings to follow ‘social distancing’ and hold  back themselves from gathering in any place without the point. The Chief Justice also pointed out that the ‘Constitution of India guarantees the Right to life and personal liberty’ in the Article 21 but the liberty of one person should not be in the manner which violate the Fundamental Rights of the other individual lives in the society. Justice AP Sahi acknowledged the fact that the “ integrities or virtues of a self-disciplined life, such as the art of for bearing impulses are hard to decipher ”. He further laid emphasis on the fact that the “wish to associate” is a desire which is “indispensable to human life” and on the other hand the “freedom of association” is a “hard won freedom” through  the ages.He stated that curtailment of these above given freedom is very hard and if forcefully curtailed then there is a chance of counter from the peoples of the society. CJ Sahi has drawn attention towards the French philosopher Descartes, which has enunciatedthat “the philosophy of life lies in understanding what to sustain and what to abstain from”.

By giving this reference he said that we are now dealing with the pandemic (novel corona virus) which has caused the threat to the life of numerous human beings. This pandemic is spreading its  feet to all over the globe and right now there is no vaccine or medically prescribed drug available in the market. So, there is dire need of the hour is to follow the guidelines & precautionary measures prescribed by the renowned health agencies, i.e. WHO or Ministry Of Health Family Welfare. He also advised to follow the aged old cardinal principle which is “PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE” . This situation also portrays the picture of  the inter-dependence of the peoples. In these circumstances, your behaviour towards other will also prescribe and propagate the step towards the cure of this disease. We have to understand that  care of ourselves and others are depending upon how much you distance yourselves from others although it might sound enigmatic in nature. People have certain fear that everything will be shut down and due to this they start purchasing things  in the bulk and storing it  for future purposes. It is also termed as ‘panic buying’. The chief justice also pointed out that this social distancing or other measures taken by the central or state governments are not for ‘stop people from living their life or quit life cycle’ but these measures are for protection and safeguarding the lives of ourselves, our loved ones and other members of the society. he goes on to say that while the precaution of ‘social distancing’ may look like ‘burdensome’, but the “gravity of the circumstances calls for stringency” . He pointed out that “every human being life is counted and no life is expendable” , he reiterates, we have to specifically curb down the activity within the court premises. At Last, he said that it is not only the duty and responsibility of the governments but also the citizens of this country to stand together and take action against this pandemic.

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