Today, the Supreme Court pulled up the Kerala government for relaxing COVID-19 restrictions in the state for Bakrid. The apex court claimed that the decision of Kerala to allow shops to open for a complete day on July 19 in areas where the positivity rate exceeded 15 percent shows the ‘sorry state of affairs’.
The bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai stated that any kind of pressure including religious, cannot in any manner interfere with the most precious right of life and health of citizens of India. “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 bench said.
The court warned that it will take action if the easing of curbs leads to the further spread of the virus. However, it has refused to pass any punitive order against state authority for relaxing covid restriction for three days.
The petition has been filed by Delhi-based P K D Nambiar who sought a stay on the Kerala government’s decision. The petitioner said that Kerala is among the states having a high positivity rate.
The decision to relax lockdown norms was taken after CM Pinarayi Vijayan met representatives of traders’ bodies. The traders had challenged the government that they would open shops on Saturday and Sunday as well.
Talking to the media, CM Vijayan on July 17 said that in view of Bakrid (Eid-ul-Adha) on July 21, 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.