The Supreme Court slammed the LDF-led Kerala government for succumbing to “pressure tactics” and relaxing COVID curbs for three days in the state due to Bakrid (Eid-ul-Azha) which will be celebrated tomorrow ( July 21).
Terming this move by Kerala to lift lockdown restrictions as alarming, the Supreme Court said today that this was “wholly uncalled for”. But, the apex court did not cancel the government notification to lift the lockdown curbs, which had come into effect on Saturday (July 17), since the “horse has already bolted”, said an NDTV report.
A two-judge bench of Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai told the Kerala government that it was an “alarming state of affairs to give in to pressure tactics”.
They said that “pressure hood” of any manner cannot infringe upon the most precious right of right to life. And, they added that if the public brings to their attention any untoward incident that had taken place due to this relaxation, they would take action accordingly, said the two-judge bench.
The Kerala government needed to pay heed to Article 21 and its order in the Kanwar Yatra case. In that order, the fundamental right to life was quoted to stop the Uttar Pradesh government from holding an annual Hindu congregation.
The Kerala government however said in its defence that the COVID-19 relaxation rules had been operating in the state since June 15 and it was nothing new, said media reports. It also pointed out that the traders were facing a lot of problems due to the lockdowns and they were banking on the Bakrid sales to lessen their economic burden.
Meanwhile, senior Lawyer Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner, raised the point that the COVID positivity rate in the state stood at over 10 per cent. And, when he asked the court to pass some orders on the relaxation curbs, Justice Nariman observed that it was pointless to do now since the horse has already bolted.
“We are not quashing the notification,” he said.
The Indian Medical Association had on Sunday too warned the government against easing the restrictions because of the “inevitable, impending third wave”. However, the Kerala government had gone ahead and lifted the restrictions starting Saturday for three days leading to the Bakrid celebrations.