Karnataka’s Restrictions On Travel From Kerala Against Centre’s Orders: Karnataka High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesKarnataka’s Restrictions On Travel From Kerala Against Centre’s Orders: Karnataka High Court Mustafa Plumber9 March 2021 1:40 AMShare This – xThe Karnataka High Court on Tuesday rebuked the Karnataka Government for not modifying the order by which it imposed restrictions on travel from the neighboring state of Kerala.Although a statement was made by the government advocate on the last hearing date (March 5) that the order will be modified, the court was informed today that the State government has not modified the order dated…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Karnataka High Court on Tuesday rebuked the Karnataka Government for not modifying the order by which it imposed restrictions on travel from the neighboring state of Kerala.Although a statement was made by the government advocate on the last hearing date (March 5) that the order will be modified, the court was informed today that the State government has not modified the order dated February 18, issued by the Deputy Commissioner of District Disaster Management Authority of Dakshina Kannada, by which it restricts entry of people from Kasargod district in Kerala to Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka only through four checkpoints, and that too on producing a negative RT-PCR test certificate. Taking strong exception to this stand of the Government, a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said :”There are 25 entry points. You are limiting it to four entry points. Under what law are you doing it? You are acting contrary to the orders of the Central Government.” On the previous hearing, the Central Government counsel had informed the bench that the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs prohibit restrictions on inter-state travel. The State Government Advocate informed the court that there is no modification made to the order dated February 18 and that ambulances and medical emergencies will be allowed from the four checkpoints. The bench then said: “You want the RT-PCR test to be conducted, understood. If a person from Kerala wants to enter Karnataka by air, will you tell him only to enter from Bengaluru airport?Can you say that person should enter from only one road?” The counsel for the petitioner B Subbaya Rai, who has challenged the travel restrictions, told the bench that entry of people from Kerala from other districts into Karnataka is allowed. and that the restriction is only for entry from Kasargod district.The bench then said “This is ridiculous that people from Kerala are allowed to enter from other districts and entry is restricted only in one district.” The bench then went on to say that it will go into the legal issue raised in the petition. It made the following observations in the order : “Memo is produced on record giving details of minutes of meeting held on March 8, under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner.The Minutes record that there is no modification made to the order dated February 18, in so far as it completely closes all entry points from Kerala to Karnataka in Dakshina Kannada district, except four which are mentioned in the said order.” Thus if any person wants to enter Karnataka from Kerala, even after complying with circular dated February 16, issued by the State government, (mandatory negative RT-PCR test) he will have to enter the state of Karnataka only through four entry points which are mentioned in order dated February 18.” The court said “We have perused the government circular dated February 16. The government circular does not provide for closing of entry points on road from Kerala to Karnataka. Moreover, the action taken by the Deputy Commissioner is only of one district, though entry points are available in more than one district.” As the hearing came to an end the court orally said “Convey our order correctly, we don’t want restrictions being imposed in other districts.” To which the government advocate said “The restriction in this district has been imposed only because many people travel for the purpose of education and employment.” The court concluded by saying “consider creating infrastructure near the checkpost to check RT-PCR test certificates.”The matter will next be heard on March 18. The Court has asked the Deputy Commissioner, Dakshina Kannada District, to file a statement. The direction was given during the hearing of a petition filed by Advocate B Subbaya Rai who said that the petition is being filed on behalf of the society at large who are the residents of Karnataka-Kerala border areas in and around of the border areas and as well as Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka State and Kasaragod District of Kerala State. The plea says that the Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod Districts of Karnataka & Kerala states respectively are interdependent upon each other in regards to employment, trade, commerce, education and major hospitals which is situated at Mangaluru city of DK District. It is submitted that more than 80, 000 people i.e 35% 40% of the border travel on day to day basis for the aforesaid purposes. Last year, the Kerala High Court had interfered with the blockade imposed by Karnataka Government on the Kerala border. Acting on a PIL filed by the Kerala High Court Advocates Association, the Kerala High Court directed the Union Government to open the highway for travel. The High Court noted that the travel restrictions had infringed the right to health of border residents, who were relying on hospitals in Mangalore for treatment.When Karnataka appealed to the Supreme Court, the SC suggested a dialogue between the Chief Secretaries of both the states. Following talks, the restrictions were lifted. Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img

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