High court clears District magistrate Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav of charges in covid-19 curfew enforcement incident

During the COVID-19 pandemic, defying administrative orders, events continued late into the night at two wedding venues in the capital. The District Magistrate of the West District, Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav, intervened and halted these events. The incident occurred on April 26, 2021. At that time, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, a curfew was in place across the state from 10 PM to 5 AM. The Disaster Management Act was also enforced. On April 20, 2021, the state's Chief Secretary had issued an order to enforce the Disaster Management Act. Under these circumstances, social events were prohibited after 10 PM. However, on April 26, 2021, events were ongoing at Golapbagan and Manikya Court in the capital despite the curfew. On receiving the information, District Magistrate Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav arrived at the Golapbagan wedding venue at around 11:15 PM. He canceled all activities at this venue. Then, around 11:30 PM, he went to Manikya Court, where a DJ was playing and the event was ongoing. Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav also canceled the event at Manikya Court. Three cases were filed against Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav regarding this matter. Swapan Kumar Deb, the bride's father from the Manikya Court wedding event, filed one case in the High Court. Sarvananda Jha, the priest of the Golapbagan wedding venue, filed another case. The third case was a public interest litigation filed by lawyer Bhaskar Debbarma. The High Court began hearing the combined cases. After lengthy hearings, the High Court's Division Bench dismissed all three cases against Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav. The Division Bench, consisting of Chief Justice Apresh Kumar Singh and Justice Arindam Lodh, cleared Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav of all charges. Advocate Samrat Kar Bhowmik, representing Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav, announced this news. It is noteworthy that the High Court ordered investigations into the matter three times. Retired District Judge Bamdeb Majumdar conducted the third investigation. All three reports stated that Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav did not engage in actions warranting taking anyone to the police station. The incidents at the two wedding venues in the capital received nationwide media coverage, causing widespread reactions.