Amid Lockdown, Relaxations on Eid Give Respite to Traders: Kerala Govt to SC
On 16 July, the top court had pointed out that fear of a third COVID wave looms large over all Indians.
The government of Kerala, in a reply that came late at night on Monday, 19 July, submitted before the Supreme Court that the COVID relaxations proposed ahead of Bakri Eid will give succour to the traders who were expecting that Eid sales will alleviate their troubles, LiveLaw reported.
It added that people were agitated by the restrictions which have been in place for over three months, affecting their livelihoods.
The Supreme Court on Monday, had sought the Kerala governments response to a plea challenging its decision on easing restrictions ahead of Eid-ul-Zuha for three days amid a fresh surge of COVID-19 cases in Kerala.
The state administration said, "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," LiveLaw reported.
It also underlined the preventive measures being put in place to curb the spread of COVID, including making sure that people heading out have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine and employing crowd control measures.
What the Plea Said
The plea filed on behalf of PKD Nambiar through Advocate Preeti Singh stated that it was shocking that "the government was playing with the lives of citizens during a medical emergency", reported LiveLaw.
"It is shocking that in a medical emergency, the government is playing with the lives of citizens through such measures. The Government of Kerala is ready to sacrifice the health and life of innocent citizens during this critical situation," read the plea application.
The plea states that the decision to ease restrictions for three days were taken without any consultation from the medical department and were rather taken in view of discussion between Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and leaders of the traders body 'Kerala Vyapari Vyavasaay E-Kopana Samiti’, reported LiveLaw.
"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.
On July 16, the top court had pointed out that fear of a third COVID wave looms large over all Indians as it asked the Uttar Pradesh government to reconsider its decision on a physical Kanwar Yatra.
On Uttar Pradesh government's symbolic Kanwar Yatra proposal, the court had replied, "the right to life is paramount" and asked the government to reconsider its position on the annual ritual that sees a heavy movement of pilgrims across the states in the northern belt.
‘Unwarranted and Inappropriate’: IMA on Kerala Govt Easing Restirctions
The Indian Medical Association on 18 July warned the Kerala government against easing COVID restriction ahead of the Bakri Eid in “face of the inevitable impending third wave.”
The IMA stated that it was “pained” by the decision of the Kerala government which comes amidst a spike in cases and seropositivity in the state and that the government has taken “decisions which will pave wave for mass gatherings".
(With inputs from LiveLaw, IANS)
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