By LE Desk

Chennai, June 10, 2021: Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee has expressed disappointment over the police not enforcing strictly the ongoing lockdown in Tamil Nadu to fight COVID-19. He said it appeared as if the lockdown had been lifted and it was “party time” on the roads.

The Chief Justice broached the subject yesterday with Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram and said it was shocking to find people moving about on the roads as a matter of routine, though the lockdown was still in force and only a few relaxations had been provided for the convenience of the people.

“We have just eased a few things for the convenience of the citizens. But if you walk on the streets, it appears that it is party time. There is business as usual. We, the public, must follow what is in our best interest. We must inculcate a sense of discipline in us,” the Chief Justice told the Advocate General, The Hindu reported.

In reply, Mr. Shunmugasundaram said, “Your Lordship may recall that policemen were beating up people. Now, strict instructions have been given not to beat people and just to ask them about their documents, e-passes, etc. Now, they are handling softly and politely,” he said.

Asking the A-G to ensure that enforcement of lockdown does not become a political issue, the Chief Justice said police could create awareness among people through the public address system and ask them not to roam about unnecessarily on the roads and crowd at public places. It should be done particularly in Coimbatore and neighbouring districts, he said.

Adding a word of caution that his intention was not to advise the police on what to do or what not to do, the Chief Justice said he was only impressing upon the need to implement the existing lockdown.

“It appears as if the lockdown is over. In the High Court, we are maintaining all kinds of restrictions but if you go out to the streets, it appears as if it is party time,” the CJ added.

Stating that he perfectly understands the sentiments expressed by the court, the A-G said he would advise the police authorities appropriately.

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