On 20th July 2021, the Supreme Court’s division bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and BR Gavai directed Kerala Government to follow the orders passed in the Suo Motu case against the UP Government concerning the Kanwar Yatra.
Earlier on 17th July 2021 Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had ordered relaxations in the Covid-19 restrictions ahead of Bakrid (Eid-ul-Azha) celebrations wherein the shops were allowed to be opened in the A, B, C areas from 18th July to 20th July 2021. The bench observed that the Kerela Government’s decision concerning relaxations was wholly uncalled for.
Yesterday, Apex Court had directed the State of Kerala to file a reply by the end of the day concerning the petition that has been filed by a Delhi Citizen PKD Nambiar.
The Kerala Government in its affidavit submitted that the restrictions due to Covid-19 have put the traders in a lot of agonies. The traders were expecting an escalation in the sales during the Bakrid celebrations thus, they had stocked up the goods. Furthermore, the affidavit also submitted that the trader organizations had stated that they would not follow the stringent restriction and would open the shops ahead of the Eid celebrations.
With respect to the submissions made by the Government, the bench stated that pressurization of any kind should not infringe the most revered right of the citizens of India ‘Right to life’ enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. Moreover, the Court opined that the State of affairs was shocking as the Government had given in to the demands of the traders even in the areas where the rate of Covid-19 positive cases is more than 15%.
The Court refused to quash the Kerala Government’s notification concerning the relaxations as it is already too late because today is the last day of the relaxations.
However, the bench added that if such relaxations would lead to an increase in the spread of the virus in the state, due actions would be taken against the Government.