PIL against blockade at inter-State borders
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Karnataka government to ensure that people in emergency situations such as death in family, medical treatment etc., are permitted to enter Karnataka on producing necessary documents to establish their respective cases, irrespective of the nature of the vehicle used for the purpose.
The Bench comprising Justice Shaji P. Chaly and Justice A. Badharudeen passed the interim directive on a public interest litigation filed by Manjeswaram MLA A.K.M. Ashraf and another person complaining about the blockade being created by Karnataka on its borders with Kerala.
Karnataka insisted on passengers having a negative RT-PCR certificate taken within 72 hours before entering the State. The petitioners also pointed out that emergency patients taken in ambulances alone were allowed to cross its borders.
When the petition came up for hearing, Advocate General of Karnataka Prabhuling K.Navadgi submitted that a revised circular had been issued to regulate the entry of people from Kerala in view of the present COVID situation in Kerala and the high percentage of COVID cases in the Dakshin Kannada district.
He pointed out that the government through a circular on 31/07/2021 had adequately addressed the issue of emergency cases. The circular had made it clear that certain categories of people, including students and public, visiting Karnataka daily for education, business, and other purposes, were exempted from having negative RT-PCR certificates on certain conditions.
That apart, constitutional functionaries, health-care professionals, children below two years, and emergency situations such as death in families, medical treatment had also come under the exemption categories.
The Karnataka Advocate General also submitted that the Karnataka High Court passed an order on Tuesday directing the government to strictly implement the revised circular. Therefore, if any directives were issued at this stage, it would be in conflict with the directives of the Karnataka High Court.
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