Legal sanctity of self-imposed lockdowns comes into focus

THE GOAN NETWORK | MAY 04, 2021, 12:50 AM IST


With several villages and municipal areas going in for self-imposed lockdowns, questions have come to the fore over the legal sanctity of such lockdowns.

While the government has not stressed on a total lockdown in the State, but has imposed strict restrictions, technicality of village lockdowns are in focus as it is the district magistrate who is the authority who can actually issue such directions.

Village panchayats like Aldona, Salvador-do-Mundo, Penha de Franca, Assagao, Candolim, Calangute, and municipalities like Margao, Mapusa, CCP Panaji have imposed lockdowns in their areas. 

Several other local bodies have also issued orders in last 24 hours announcing a series of lockdowns in their respective areas.

The government citing strain on the economy had rejected the idea of a total lockdown and had imposed strict restrictions till May 10. 

However, there was clamour for extending the lockdown by 15 days not only from Opposition MLAs by also from the ruling party.

Batting for village lockdowns, Advocate Carlos Ferreira said, “the number of people with acute infection is increasing with fatalities. Hospital resources are also stressed to the optimum level. We can't see our close ones dying. In this situation, lockdown is a must. If the government is not paying attention, villages can do it... we have requested our Aldona panchayat to take action of lockdown. There is nothing wrong in such action", he said.

"If panchayat has right to issue a license for establishment then why can't the local bodies have the right to suspend such license for a certain period and that too for a valid reason", argued Advocate Ferreira.

MLAs who have joined in support to local bodies are Margao MLA Digambar Kamat and Mapusa MLA Joshua D'souza. Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaute, Marcaim MLA Sudin Dhavlikar had also been proactive for lockdowns in their areas.

Calangute MLA Michael Lobo too had taken the initiative in supporting the coastal panchayat bodies to impose a lockdown.

"I had urged for extension of lockdown in Goa but the government refused. My humble request to Madgaonkars is to go for voluntary lockdown for a week from tomorrow to help in our fight against #Covid," Digambar Kamat said. 

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