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Bombay HC orders RT-PCR test for Vidarbhas frontline staff; terms NMC’s stand ‘ridiculous’

In a landmark judgment, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court comprising Justice Ravi Deshpande and Justice Amit Borkar on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to conduct RT-PCR test of all frontline warriors including doctors, nurses, pharmacist and policemen working in Vidarbha with immediate effect. The court was hearing a petition filed by Nagpur-based NGO ‘Citizen Forum for Equality’ that sought COVID-19 tests to be conducted on frontline workers.

The State government counsel argued that no policy was framed for frontline health workers and police personnel for COVID-19 testing. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe had filed an affidavit by resisting the testing of frontline health workers on three grounds:

  • The health workers conduct their job with protection and hence there is no threat to them.
  • If orders to test front line health workers were given, then there would be huge burden on the state exchequer.
  • There is no express policy of ICMR to test them.

The High Court slammed the ridiculous and ?contemptuous stand taken by the NMC as per the fundamental rights of citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The High Court relied upon two landmark judgments of the Supreme Court

  1. i) State of Punkab Vs Ram Bagga -1998-4-SCC-117
  2. ii) Navtejsingh Johar Vs Union of India -2018-10-SCC-1

It was held that the right to health and health care is the right to life under Article 21 of Constitution of India. The HC held that it was the duty of the state to protect the ?frontline warriors and get them tested them under Article 47 of the Constitution of India.

As per the court, the entire frontline staff in Vidarbha is entitled to get tested for COVID-19 through RT-PCR method provided they express their willingness to undergo the test. The court said it didn’t agree with the state government as well as the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) stand that the guidelines of ICMR does not cover frontline workers for RT-PCR testing.

The court directed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to frame guidelines for periodic check up of the frontline warriors of Vidarbha within one week as they are the ?direct and high-risk contacts of COVID-19 positive patients. The court said that the frontline workers, who are performing a herculean? task, fall under the definition of suspected cases and hence should be tested. The court further said there’s no guarantee that the frontline workers using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits or wearing gloves, masks or coats are safe from COVID-19 infection.

The court said that the lives of frontline workers are precious as they are warriors who have been putting their lives at risk to save others. The court said, We can’t afford to lose them. There can’t be any compromise on this.

While advocate Dr Tushar Mandlekar argued for petitioner  Citizens Forum for Equality, Nagpur, Assistant Solicitor General of India advocate Ulhas Aurangabadkar argued for ICMR and Union of India. Advocate Sumant Deopujari argued for State Government and advocate Sudhir Puranik argued for NMC.

Check the High Court’s order below:

Also read: Nagpur: Four, including dreaded goon, booked for raping 16-year-old girl

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NMC

NMC Chief Tukaram Mundhe storms out of meeting after Corporator calls him ‘blot on Saint Tukaram’

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Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur

Tukaram Mundhe


In a dramatic turn of events today, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe stormed out of the General Body (GB) Meet held in the presence of Nagpur Mayor Sandip Joshi and several Congress and BJP corporators. The meeting, which took place after a gap of three months, was held at Suresh Bhat Auditorium in Reshimbagh, Nagpur on Saturday. During the meeting, BJP corporator Dayashankar Tiwari, BJP city chief and MLC Pravin Datke and BJP corporator Avinash Thakre accused the civic body of ignoring elected representatives while formulating policy decisions.

Later, as Mundhe spoke, Tiwari, while exercising Point of Information, interrupted him and began raising his voice. Mundhe told Joshi and the House that if corporators raised their voices, he wouldn’t sit through the meeting. Tiwari reacted to Mundhes objection by saying that Mundhe should leave Nagpur instead of leaving the House.

Tagging Mundhe as Britisher, Congress corporator Harish Gwalbanshi compared Mundhes attitude with that of a Britisher. He said, Like Britishers, Mundhe had supporters. The Congress corporator said the same while questioning the civic bodys move to convert a market complex into a COVID-19 health centre.

Also read: Nagpur man discovers 4-month-old foetus in gutter; cops suspect illegal abortion

Further, Gwalbanshi, comparing (Tukaram) Mundhe with his namesake Saint Tukaram, said that the commissioner was the exact opposite of Saint Tukaram, and that NMC chief was a blot on the Saints name. He even asked Mundhe not to tarnish the image of the Saint. An infuriated Mundhe immediately left the meeting midway, which was later chaired by Additional Municipal Commissioner Ram Joshi.

Meanwhile, a no-confidence motion was also moved in the House against Mundhe by calling his act as ?unconstitutional. Joshi said the same meeting would now be resumed on Tuesday and he would try bringing Mundhe for the meeting.

Watch below: NMC Chief Tukaram Mundhe को कोई नहीं चाहता; लोग उनसे दहशत में हैं: Nagpur Mayor Sandip Joshi

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NMC to seal The East India Co.,Moksha after owner’s family member tests COVID-19 positive

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Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur
NMC would be sealing Nagpur's popular restaurants The East India Co.,Moksha after owner's family member tested COVID-19 positive.
East India Co. situated at Civil Lines

Panic spread among citizens in Nagpur after one of the family members residing at Shivaji Nagar tested COVID-19 positive. The infected, who’s family runs citys popular restaurants ? The East India Co. situated at Civil Lines and Moksha situated at Jhansi Rani Square ? has been shifted to Government Medical College (GMC).

The woman, who had recently returned to Nagpur from Delhi, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday evening. Post that, her family members quarantined themselves at Hotel Pride at Wardha Road on Wednesday.

When we spoke to the owner of the restaurants vis-a-vis the risks associated with the family member getting infected and operating the restaurants, he said, There’s no need to panic as none of us visit the two restaurants. The restaurants have been providing home delivery and there’s no question of worry. Even I haven’t been visiting the restaurants.

However when we spoke to Prakash Warhade, Assistant Municipal Commissioner for Dharampeth zone, he said, We’re in the process of sealing the two restaurants.

Also read: 61 from Naik Talao-Bangladesh area test positive, Nagpur COVID-19 tally crosses 800

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NMC recovers over Rs 1.18 lakh fine in 15 days from people not wearing mask

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Sharvari Vaidya | Nagpur

After Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) made wearing of masks compulsory in public places to fight COVID-19, the Nuisance Detection Squad (NDS) of the civic body in Nagpur recovered a fine of Rs 1,18,500 from April 15 to May 30. NMC has also imposed a fine of Rs 200 against the violators in accordance with state government guidelines.

The NDS penalsied 534 people residing in all 10 zones of the city. The violators were mostly from areas including Dhantoli, Sitabuldi and Sadar, with age groups ranging from young and middle-aged.

NDS commandant Veersen Tambe told Nation Next, Any person violating these guidelines shall be punished issued under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and shall be strictly punished after three similar offences in a row by police officers or the NDS squad. Both of these officers are hereby allowed to take some action to seriously penalise these violators. Although lot of awareness is seen in people but for those who choose not to wear mask will have to face legal action and fine of Rs 200.

Also read: June 7: Here’s list of areas in Nagpur declared as containment zones till now

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