Ashwani Kumar.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 16 : Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Ashwani Kumar has written a letter to Chief Justice of India seeking suo moto intervention to ban political rallies, protest assemblies, religious and festive congregations of more than 50 people until Covid-19 situation is under control.

Citing media reports, Kumar said Covid cases in the country have crossed the two-lakh mark per day, with no signs of the surge abating in the near future. "Considering the gravity of the threat to human life and the constitutional responsibility cast upon this court to protect and secure the lives of citizens, the court may issue suo-motu directions to the central and state governments to ban political rallies, protest assemblies, religious and festive congregations of more than 50 people until the situation is under control," he wrote to the Chief Justice.

Kumar also sought a ban on the export of COVID vaccines and permitting the import of vaccines after ensuring their efficacy to treat the viral disease. "The court may issue suo motu directions to make the vaccines available to all age groups and to facilitate in-situ vaccination as far as possible, but especially of the old and the infirm," he said.

He also criticised super-spreading events including political rallies, religious congregations and festive events. Kumar cited the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar as a such super-spreading event, where almost 2,000 people have tested positive for the Coronavirus.

"Other instances include the election campaigns being held in different states, where political leaders have held massive rallies flouting Covid rules. Festivals have also been celebrated where there have been gatherings in huge numbers, once again flouting the Covid rules. Such events have contributed significantly to the resurgence of Corona cases throughout the country", the letter added.

Kumar said "Even so, no purposive and effective action has been taken by the central and state governments on a uniform basis across the country to stop such gatherings. There is laxity even in enforcing the limited restrictions announced by some of the state governments from time to time."

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