On Monday, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court against Kerala’s Pinayari Vijayan government, which decided to relax lockdown restrictions for Bakrid celebrations despite an increase in Covid-19 cases.
“To the utter dismay of India’s citizens, the Kerala government announced a 3-days relaxation of lockdown restrictions on July 18, 19, and 20 keeping in view the upcoming Bakrid festival,” the plea stated.
While the Apex Court deferred from passing stay asked Sh. G. Prakash appearing on behalf of Stake of Kerala to file an affidavit by the end of the day and listed the matter for hearing on Tuesday.
In the Supreme Court’s suo motu case against Uttar Pradesh’s holding of Kanwar Yatra, an intervention application was filed by PKD Nambiar, a Delhi citizen.
The Petition stated that Kerala has been reporting a rise in COVID-19 cases whereas the situation in other States has improved. Furthermore, the petition mentioned that the decision to grant the relaxations was based on political and communal tensions.
The Left Democratic Front government is accused of not acting on medical advice, and the news reports suggest that the relaxations of lockdown norms were instead based on a discussion between CM Vijayan and the leaders of the Kerala traders body.
“What this goes to show is the decision was not the outcome of any medical advice, but political and communal considerations”, the plea stated.
Despite the restrictions, traders reportedly threatened to resume shops. Textile, footwear, jewellery, home appliances, and electronic stores, as well as all types of repairing companies, shall remain open from 7 am to 8 pm on July 18th, 19th, and 20th under the relaxed rules.
The Indian Medical Association has slammed the action, calling it “unwarranted and inappropriate at the time of a medical emergency.” The BJP also reacted, questioning why Bakrid was granted a concession when Onam and Christmas were denied.
Whereas Congress declined to react on the issue, Abhishek Manu Singhvi claimed that if the Kanwar Yatra was wrong, so were the Bakrid relaxations.