New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday (July 20) termed as “wholly uncalled for” the relaxations granted by the Kerala government for the Eid al-Adha festival in areas having the highest Covid-19 positivity rate and warned that it will take action if the easing of curbs leads to further spread of the virus.
SC pulled up the state government for giving in to traders’ pressure by granting relaxations ahead of Bakrid and said it disclosed a “sorry state of affairs”.
A bench of justices R F Nariman and B R Gavai said that the citizenary of India has been laid bare to the nationwide pandemic by grant of such relaxations by the Kerala government.
“We direct the Kerala government to give heed to the Right to Life enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution,” the bench said.
The bench was hearing an application which raised the issue of relaxations granted by the Kerala government in view of Bakrid.
It was filed in a matter in which the court had last week taken suo motu cognisance of earlier media reports on the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow Kanwar Yatra amid the pandemic.
The apex court referred to a paragraph in the affidavit filed by the Kerala government and said it disclosed that the state has given in to associations of traders, which made a representation that they have stocked up goods for the purpose of Bakrid.
“What is extremely alarming is the fact that in Category D where infection rates are the highest, a full day of relaxation has been granted,” it said.
“We state that this affidavit discloses a sorry state of affairs as has been stated above and does not in real manner safeguard the Right to Life and Health guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution” it said. “We may also indicate that if as a result of this (relaxations), if any untoward spread of COVID-19 takes place, any member of the public may approach this court after which the court will take action accordingly. The IA is disposed of,” the top court said.
(With inputs from PTI)