The Supreme Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the Kerala government for relaxing COVID-19 restrictions even as the state is recording a high number of cases. A Bench of Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai said that governments cannot cave into pressure groups, religious entities to put the lives of people at risk.
The apex court said that the state's actions during a pandemic disclose a sorry state of affairs. The action of the Kerala government does not in any real manner safeguard right to life and health of citizens, the court said. The relaxations were uncalled for in areas of high positivity rate, the Bench noted.
"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," the Bench said.
The court observed that it was too late to quash relaxations as today is the third day.
The Kerala government had announced a three-day relaxation in COVID-19 restrictions from July 18-20 for Bakrid. Stores selling textile, footwear, jewellery, fancy items, home appliances and electronic items, repairing shops and those selling essential items were allowed to (stay open) from 7 AM to 8 PM in category A, B, and C areas.
The application, which raised the issue of relaxation in restrictions in Kerala, for intervention in the suo motu matter was filed by Delhi-based P K D Nambiar who has sought stay on the state's decision. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the applicant, told the bench that COVID positivity rate in Kerala is over 10 percent but despite that, restrictions have been relaxed for Bakrid. He said Kerala is among the states having the highest number of COVID cases at present and it has a high positivity rate.
With inputs from PTI
First Published: IST