Sorry state of affairs: Supreme Court on relaxation in Covid-19 curbs in Kerala
The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up Kerala government for relaxing Covid-19 restriction in the state for Bakrid.
The court said the state government's decision to allow shops to open for a complete day on July 19 in areas where positivity rate exceeded 15 per cent shows the "sorry state of affairs".
Calling it an alarming situation, the bench of justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai said that pressure groups of any kind, religious or otherwise, 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 had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to reconsider its decision
The Supreme Court did not set aside the state government's decision to provide relaxation in Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, but allowed people to approach the court if, as a result of the decision, any untoward spread of the Covid-19 disease takes place.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the concessions at a press conference on July 17 and 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 7am to 8pm in category A, B and C areas.
The Supreme Court's observations came on a petition 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.
Meanwhile, Kerala on Monday logged 9,931 fresh Covid-19 cases, which pushed the infection caseload to 31,70,868. The number of people who have succumbed to the virus rose to 15,408 with 58 more deaths, a state government release said.
Malappuram accounted for the most number of cases (1615), folowed by Kozhikode (1022), Thrissur (996), Ernakulam (921), Palakkad (846) and Kollam (802).