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Supreme Court slams Kerala govt for relaxing COVID-19 norms for Bakrid on the day relaxations conclude: Details

Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court had asked the Kerala government to respond to the petition against the relaxation in Covid-19 restrictions in the state in the view of Eid.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rapped the Kerala government for allowing a three-day relaxation in COVID-19 restrictions on the occasion of Muslim festival of Bakrid. 

The court said if there is any spread of the COVID19 infection due to the lockdown relaxations by the Kerala government owing to Bakrid, any person can bring it to the notice of the court which will then take appropriate action. The Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala had relaxed lockdown restrictions imposed for curbing Chinese coronavirus for three days starting 18th July. Today is the last day of relaxations.

“It is an alarming state of affairs that the Kerala government has given in to the demand of traders to relax lockdown norms,” the SC said.

The apex court also ordered the Kerala State government to adhere to the same guidelines laid down by the court for the Kanwar Yatra this year amid a raging coronavirus pandemic. 

“We direct Kerala to give heed to Article 21 read with Article 144 of the Constitution of India and follow our orders given in the Kanwar Yatra case,” the SC said.

The court was responding to a plea filed against the Kerala government’s move to ease lockdown restrictions amidst a raging bout of coronavirus outbreak. 

Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court had asked the Kerala government to respond to the petition against the relaxation in Covid-19 restrictions in the state in the view of Eid.

The Kerala government had announced relaxations for Bakrid festival in a press conference organised on July 17. Addressing the press conference, CM Pinarayi Vijayan had said then that textiles, footwear shops, jewellery, fancy stores, shops selling home appliances and electronic items, all types of repairing shops and shops selling essential items shall be allowed to open on July 18-20 from 7 am to 8 pm in category A, B and C areas.

For shops located in D category, he said, permission to remain open was limited to July 19 only. The areas have been categorised on the basis of test positivity rate. 

Although the top court noted that the pressure groups in the market can’t be permitted to have an impact on the right to health, it nevertheless said that it can’t quash the Kerala government’s notification. “The horse has already bolted,” the court said. 

Interestingly, the stern rebuke from the top court came after the relaxations in Kerala are coming to an end, unlike in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand where the Supreme Court demonstrated unmatched alacrity to pass orders cancelling the Kanwar Yatra after taking suo moto cognisance.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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