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Indefinite Lockdown Has Repercussions On Livelihood Of People, Relaxation For Bakrid To Give Some Respite To Traders: Kerala Govt. Tells SC

Sparsh Upadhyay
19 July 2021 5:25 PM GMT
Indefinite Lockdown Has Repercussions On Livelihood Of People, Relaxation For Bakrid To Give Some Respite To Traders: Kerala Govt. Tells SC
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The Kerala government has, in a late-night reply filed before the Supreme Court, justified the relaxation given in the COVID lockdown restrictions by stating that the same was done to provide succor to the traders who were expecting that Bakrid sales will alleviate their misery to a certain extent.The reply has been filed pursuant to the directions of the Supreme Court wherein the...

The Kerala government has, in a late-night reply filed before the Supreme Court, justified the relaxation given in the COVID lockdown restrictions by stating that the same was done to provide succor to the traders who were expecting that Bakrid sales will alleviate their misery to a certain extent.

The reply has been filed pursuant to the directions of the Supreme Court wherein the Court today sought Kerala Government's response on a plea challenging the its decision to relax, for three days, Covid-19 induced lockdown restrictions in view upcoming Bakrid festival.

The Government has further stated that even though it took all possible steps to alleviate the miseries of the population of the state, the people have been frustrated by the curbs which have been in vogue for more than three months.

The Government categorically submitted thus:

"The traders were expecting that the Bakrid sales will alleviate their misery to a certain extent. They have stocked up the goods for this purpose much early. The organization of traders started to agitate against the stringent curbs implemented in the LSGIs and declared that they will open shops all over the state flouting the regulations."

Significantly, the Government has also mentioned the measures which it would be taking to curb the potential spread of COVID-19 and those are:

  • As far as possible, the persons visiting shops and other establishments may belong to those with at least one dose of the Covidl9 vaccine and follow strict COVID protocols.
  • The Department of Police has been directed to enforce Covid regulations and ensure effective crowd management during these days.
  • The Chief Minister has also appealed to the people via his press briefing that only those who have taken at least one dose of the Covidl9 vaccine alone may visit the shops during these days.

Background

Today, an application had been filed on behalf of PKD Nambiar through Advocate Preeti Singh which stated at the outset that "it is shocking that in a medical emergency, the government is playing with the lives of citizens through such measures… Government of Kerala is ready to sacrifice the health and life of innocent citizens during this critical situation.

The application has been moved in the Supreme Court's suo moto case raising concerns over the proposed Kanwar Yatra in the State of UP.

Whereas in the said case the Supreme Court had expressed reservation over permitting the Kanwar rituals considering the threat to Covid-protocols, the application highlights that the Kerala Government is acting casually by relaxing lockdown restrictions for the Bakrid festival from July 18 till July 20.

The plea alleges that the impugned decision has been taken without any consultation from the medical department. Rather, the decision is taken in view of discussions between CM Pinarayi Vijayan and leaders of the traders body 'Kerala Vyapari Vyavasaay E-Kopana Samiti'.
"The political interest and cause cannot overcome the fundamental rights of the citizens of this nation. The said act of the Government of Kerala is noting but politically motivated, moreover, the said decision is totally contrary to the observation and the spirit qua which this Hon'ble Court has shown it's concern over the presents pitiable situation of this Nation," states the application.
It is also pointed out that the impugned decision was taken by the Kerala Government merely a day after the Prime Minister called for caution due to "increasing numbers (of Covid positive cases) in Kerala and Maharashtra".
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