DMK moves HC over communique restraining parties, charitable outfits giving food to needy

The DMK moved Madras HC, seeking to quash a communique of Department of Public Relations, restraining political parties and charitable organisations from distributing essential items during lockdown

Madras High Court (Photo Courtesy: PTI)
Madras High Court (Photo Courtesy: PTI)
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PTI

The DMK on Monday moved the Madras High Court, seeking to quash a communique of the Department of Public Relations, restraining political parties and charitable organisations from distributing essential items like groceries and vegetables during the lockdown period.

The party submitted that its office bearers had been contacted by thousands of people from across the state with requests to supply daily rations, food and medicines.

DMK organizing Secretary R S Bharathi said the party has been regularly organising distribution of food, groceries, vegetables and permitted medicines through their local office bearers.

"These philanthropic works have always been carried out by the DMK whenever disaster or calamity has struck Tamil Nadu.

The partys principal concern is the well being of the people of Tamil Nadu", he said.

Stating that at times like this, the rich and powerful do not face any difficulty in being in quarantine within the comforts of their homes, the petitioner said it is the poor for whom three square meals a day was a struggle even before the lockdown, who are the worst affected.

There is a real danger of starvation of thousands of families due to this "ill planned lockdown," the DMK said.

The petitioner said the DMK swung into action to ensure and do the possible best to provide food and groceries to the needy to take care of the basic needs of the poor.

All these have to be done by the state and only because the Government "woefully failed" to take care of the weaker economic sections of society, did DMK start distributing the items after taking all necessary safety and precautionary requirements of social distancing, it said.

The party alleged that those in power were unable to digest the philanthropic activities undertaken by the DMK and had hence issued the press release.

On Sunday, the state government had said individuals and organisations cannot distribute food to the needy in the streets, saying it was a violation of the prohibitory orders clamped to enforce the ongoing lockdown.

It said the very purpose of clamping Section 144 of Cr.Pc., which bars the assembly of more than five persons, was to avoid crowding and ultimately prevent the spread of virus.

The case will be taken up for hearing on April 15 by a division bench.

Meanwhile, the Madras High Court, based on the state government announcment that the lockdown was being extended till April 30, issued a circular, stating that the Courts will function as it was at present by taking emergency matters through video conference or as directed by the benches at the time of emergency sitting.

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