Korean inmates of Tiruchi special camp approach Madras HC fearing COVID-19


Korean inmates of Tiruchi special camp approach Madras HC fearing COVID-19

Mohamed Imranullah S.CHENNAI 07 APRIL 2020 23:57 ISTUPDATED: 08 APRIL 2020 00:03 IST    

Two Korean inmates of a special camp in Tiruchi have approached the Madras High Court alleging that norms for physical distancing were not being followed at the camp though some of the 80 inmates were suffering from symptoms such as cold and fever.

Justice S. Vaidyanathan heard the writ petitions filed by Choi Yong Suk (46) and Choe Jae Won (41) on Tuesday through video conferencing and directed State Government Pleader V. Jayaprakash Narayanan to obtain detailed instructions from the authorities concerned by Thursday.

The petitioners’ counsel C. Arun Kumar told the judge that his clients were the Managing Director and General Manager respectively of Chowel India Private Limited, a company operating from Sriperumbudur Taluk and engaged in manufacture of cowl bars, bumpers and seat frames for motor vehicles.AdvertisingAdvertising

Last year, the company was accused of not remitting Goods and Services Tax (GST) collected from its customers since 2017 and the total liability was assessed to be more than Rs. 40 crore. Hence, the authorities concerned initiated prosecution against the company and arrested its top brass.

Though an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Egmore had granted bail to the petitioners on November 19 last year, the Superintendent of GST and Central Excise chose to detain them at the camp and such detention was challenged by way of habeas corpus petitions.

The HCPs were slated to be heard on March 26 but could not be taken up due to the nationwide lock down to fight COVID-19, the petitioners said in their affidavits and alleged that there was every chance of the pandemic spreading in the camp due to lack of preventive measures.

They claimed that the camp lacked medical facilities and that no disinfectant was sprayed till date. “The inmates of the camp are made to sleep in small mosquito sheds which are placed very closely. The requirement of social distancing is not there in the camp,” their identical affidavits read.

Stating that their residences were located inside a posh residential town at Oragadam, the petitioner said, in the event of him being released from the camp, he would be willing to given an undertaking that he would abide by any condition and not step out of Kancheepuram district.

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