After US firm report, activist moves Bombay High Court for Elgar case stay

MUMBAI: All eyes may have been on Novak Djokovic at the Men’s Singles final at Wimbledon last week as he won yet another grand slam title, but for the Bombay High Court the real sight to behold was a stadium full of spectators without masks.

Wondering when India would see the return of this level of normalcy, the court noted that “vaccinating everyone” was the key to it.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing PILs (public interest litigation) on the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Maharashtra and the state government’s preparedness to face a possible third wave.

“The Wimbledon finals was the sight of the year. We don’t know if you saw it, but not a single person was wearing a mask,” the HC told Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni.

“The stadium was jam-packed and nobody but one lone woman was wearing a mask. One Indian cricketer was also present and he was without a mask too,” the judges said.

“When will India see such a situation? Vaccinating everyone is the key to it,” the HC said.

A third wave of the pandemic has reportedly arrived in some states, it said.

“There are reports saying third wave has set in in two states in the North-East. We have to take measures,” the judges said, adding that “we are in much more comfortable situation now” but there should not be any “lowering of guard from here”.

They have read news reports about active cases of the delta-plus variant of coronavirus being detected in Maharashtra, and the state must act to prevent the spread of infection, the judges said.

The HC will hear the PILs next after three weeks.