Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the “alarming” COVID-19 situation in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh observing that the positivity rate in the three states is “extremely high”.

The Gauhati High Court is the common high court of four states. While its principal seat is at Guwahati in Assam, it has three outlying benches at Kohima, Aizawl and Itanagar for the states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh respectively.

The full bench of the high court headed by Chief Justice Sudhangshu Dhulia said, “We take suo motu notice of the alarming situation of COVID-19 pandemic, which is in its second wave, in the States of Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, where the positivity rate is extremely high.”

The latest available COVID-19 positivity rates of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland are 7.73 per cent, 10.85 per cent and 6.51 per cent respectively, while the national average is 1.68 per cent.

Also read | Mizoram reports highest single-day spike of 807 COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

While dealing with the suo motu PIL owing to the daily surge of cases during the pandemic, the bench also comprising Justices N Kotiswar Singh and M R Pathak directed the advocate generals of the three North-eastern states to be present on July 23, when the case will be heard again.

“The court will require their assistance in getting the true picture in their respective states in the present Covid-19 pandemic and the measures being taken by the respective state governments to handle the crisis,” the bench said during a hearing on Monday via video conferencing.

The court directed the registrar general to inform the advocate generals of the three states as well as the counsel for the Union government on the matter so that they may remain present on the next date of listing with the required information.

“Our initial order dated 10.05.2021 shall continue till the next date of listing,” the bench ordered.

Also read | Arunachal reports highest single-day spike of 508 COVID-19 cases

The initial order of May 10 on the PIL had directed extension of all interim orders passed by the high court and the courts and tribunals sub-ordinate to the high court along with the interim bail orders till June one, 2021.

The matter was taken up by the full bench of the high court on May 31, and it extended the interim orders from time to time.

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