Centre To SC: Shut ‘PIL Shops’ Till India Wins Corona Battle

New Delhi: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Friday told the Supreme Court, citing PILs filed by activists Harsh Mander and Swami Agnivesh, that professional “PIL shops” must be locked down till India wins the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

The top court today virtually had a special bench to hear a flurry of petitions — seeking relief for migrant workers, free COVID-19 testing facility, price management of masks & sanitizers, overcrowding in children homes and acquiring hotels, guesthouses for isolation or quarantine to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Mehta sternly opposed the petitions filed by Harsh Mander through advocate Prashant Bhushan and Swami Agnivesh through advocate Colin Gonsalves.

Mander’s petition sought directions to the Centre and state government to ensure payments of minimum wages to all migrant workers during lockdown.

Swami Agnivesh sought immediate relief to the poor, informal sector workers, slum dwellers and economically weaker sections. He pointed out that filing of PILs in the midst of the government’s successful fight with this deadly disease is proving to be detrimental in the entire country.

Mehta pointed out that the country is going through an unprecedented crisis of fighting an unknown deadly virus and all officers are working day and night through several control rooms.

While opposing the two petitions, he took the stand that none of the named people have bothered to serve the poor and needy or the persons suffering from Covid-19 disease and, therefore, can never be treated as “public spirited citizens”.

“Till the country and the world comes out of this unprecedented tragedy such “professional PIL shops” must be locked down as none of them has any concern about the poor and needy or thousands of patients fighting this deadly disease”, said Mehta.

He asserted that the forum of the Supreme Court can never be used for gaining cheap publicity or achieving any ulterior objectives. He reiterated that everyone should join hands with the government’s efforts which have been successful so far.