In the wake of the COVID-19 norms being relaxed for Bakrid in Kerala, the SC told Kerala government to, “Follow Kanwar Yatra Order for Bakrid.” The apex court on July 20 rapped the Kerala government after the latter allowed a 3-day relaxation in the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in the state in the view of the upcoming Bakrid festival. The Supreme Court said that the state is letting the pressure of the traders get to it and the relaxation shows the “sorry state of affairs” in Kerala.
Amid the concerns over the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the country any time, the Supreme Court took cognizance of the relaxations given by the Kerala government for Bakrid. The top court asked the state to follow its orders that were given in the Kanwar Yatra’s case.
The Supreme Court bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice B. R. Gavai in its order said-
“We direct State of 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.”
Supreme Court pulls up Kerala government for relaxing COVID19 restriction for celebration of Bakrid in the state.
Supreme Court says it is shocking state of affairs that the Kerala government has given in to the demand of traders in relaxing lockdown norms pic.twitter.com/NtD5ytOw0M
— ANI (@ANI) July 20, 2021
What is Article 21, Article 144 and the Kanwar Yatra Order?
While, Article 21 of the Indian constitution states-
“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty,” Article 144 of the Constitution states, “Civil and judicial authorities to act in aid of the Supreme Court All authorities.”
Earlier last week, the Supreme Court had directed that the state of Uttar Pradesh “cannot go ahead with the Kanwar Yatra. 100%”. After the court’s categorical ruling, the Uttar Pradesh government announced a cancellation of the Yatra for this year.
“If any untoward incident takes place, action will be taken”: SC Raps Kerala Govt
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also gave its remarks on the Kerala governments appeal that it was being pressurized by the public to relax certain COVID-19 restrictions. The Supreme Court bench said-
“Pressurehood of any manner cannot infringe upon the most precious right of right to life for citizens of India. If any untoward incident takes place, then any public can bring to our notice and action will be taken accordingly,”
as quoted by Bar and Bench.
Case Registered by PKD Nambiar
The Supreme Court was hearing the case registered by PKD Nambiar, who took to the top court and objected the restrictions in Kerala for the upcoming Bakrid festival. The plea claimed that while other states have improved their situations with the number of COVID-19 cases, Kerala is still showing alarming number of cases.
The plea further said-
“To the utter dismay of India’s citizens, Kerala government announced a 3-days relaxation of lockdown restrictions on July 18, 19 and 20 keeping in view the upcoming Bakrid festival.”
The Ease that Was Announced by Kerala Govt
Earlier, the Kerala government announced several relaxations in the ongoing restrictions imposed in the state. In the view of Bakrid, the state announced 3-day relaxations while promising that the state will ensure that COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed.
The state’s Chief Minister, Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan said that in the view of Eid ul-Azha, which will be celebrated in the state on July 21, places like textile shops, jewllery stores, home-appliance stores, electronics store, and other similar stores will be allowed to open from July 18-20.
The shops will be allowed to open from 7 AM – 8 PM in category A, B, C regions.
“This is alarming state of affairs”: SC Bench
On the particular aspect, the Supreme Court said-
“Even a cursory glance at this notification shows that all non-essential shops which were in Category A are now allowed in Category A-C. In category D, all these shops were enabled to function on July 19. This discloses that the state government has given in to the association of traders who represented before the government and that they have stocked goods for Bakrid. The state has blindly recorded that shops will follow Covid protocols. This is an alarming state of affairs.”