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Activist moves Allahabad HC to restrain UP Govt from taking coercive action against volunteers appealing for oxygen on social media

Saket Gokhale, an activist has moved Allahabad High Court and sought for a restraining order against Uttar Pradesh government from taking any coercive action against the individuals who appeal for oxygen and other medical assistance on social media platforms.

Along with this, the activist sought for protection of independent volunteers who are providing assistance to the COVID-19 patients and their families by collecting requisite information relating to oxygen and other medical assistance on social media platforms like Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

The activist averred that the Amethi Police had recently booked a boy under various sections of Indian Penal Code for surfacing false information relating to COVID-19. The boy had asked for leads on oxygen availability on Twitter as his grandfather was critical.

The activist submitted that filing criminal cases against such individuals and volunteers amounts to abusive use of power in the hands of State. He also stated that by doing this, the government wants to maintain its image and cover up its own failure of handling the second wave of COVID-19.

The activist stated that such coercive action violates the fundamental right to live with liberty (Article 21) and freedom of speech and expression (Article 19).

The activist highlighted the miserable state of patients and their families who are knocking every single door for help and for saving the life of their loved ones.

Recently, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister directed the police officials to keep a watch on such people who are trying to spread rumours about shortage of oxygen in Uttar Pradesh and issued instructions to duly investigate such instances.

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