UP refuses to open borders with Delhi for now
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition seeking free movement within NCR, an area that comprises the territory of Delhi and districts in the surrounding states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Restrictions on travel between Uttar Pradesh and Delhi will continue to remain in place considering the spike in Covid-19 infections in the national capital, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government told the Supreme Court on Friday.
The UP administration said it will allow essential services, medical staff, media personnel and advocates to travel between the two states, and added that it was not in a position to open the borders at Noida and Ghaziabad immediately.
“There are only (about) 1,000 Covid cases in Noida and Ghaziabad. In Delhi, the total deaths due to Covid is more than 1,000, while it is just 40 in Noida and Ghaziabad,” advocate Garima Prashad submitted on behalf of UP.
Haryana, meanwhile, informed the apex court that it will allow travel without restrictions to and from Delhi.
On June 4, the Supreme Court asked Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to set up a uniform system for hassle-free movement within the National Capital Region (NCR), a move aimed at clearing up widespread confusion among thousands of commuters.
The court was hearing a petition seeking free movement within NCR, an area that comprises the territory of Delhi and districts in the surrounding states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The cities of Gurugram and Faridabad (Haryana), and Noida and Ghaziabad (UP) fall within the NCR.
The petitioner in the case, Rohit Bhalla, a resident of Gurugram, pointed out the troubles commuters were facing at the borders due to state-specific rules. He said measures adopted by states were disproportionately impacting citizens in NCR and violating their fundamental rights, including the right to movement under Article 19(1)(d) and the right to carry on with trade or occupation under Article 19(1)(g).
The absence of a common pass system was another aspect which Bhalla pointed out in his petition.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, in its June 4 directive, asked the central government to convene a meeting of officials from Delhi, UP and Haryana and come up with a common portal to facilitate interstate travel such as the one between Delhi and Noida or Delhi and Gurugram.
A meeting of officials from the three states was convened on June 9, and Haryana agreed that there will be no restrictions on interstate travel. UP, however, had a different take.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the central government, said on Friday he will file a status report on the meeting of June 9. The top court adjourned the matter for June 17 after recording the UP counsel’s submissions.
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