On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court has rebuked the state government for not modifying the order by which it imposed restrictions on travel from the neighboring state of Kerala.
The above observations were made, when the High Court was informed on Tuesday that the state government did not modify the order dated February 18, issued by the Deputy Commissioner of District Disaster Management Authority of Dakshina Kannada, by which it restricted entry of people from Kasargod district in Kerala to Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka only through four checkpoints, and that too on producing a negative RT-PCR test certificate. It was held that although a statement was made by the advocate representing the government in the last hearing dated March 5 that the order will be modified, however, till date it was not.
Therefore, taking a strong exception to this stand of the government, the division bench of HC comprising of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said “There are 25 entry points. You are limiting it to four entry points. Under what law are you doing it? You are acting contrary to the orders of the Central Government.”
“You want the RT-PCR test to be conducted, understood. If a person from Kerala wants to enter Karnataka by air, will you tell him only to enter from Bengaluru airport? Can you say that person should enter from only one road?” the bench added.
Subbaya Rai, the counsel representing the petitioner who challenged the travel restrictions, stated that the entry of people from Kerala from other districts into Karnataka was allowed while entry was restricted only for people coming from Kasargod district.
To this, the bench reacted sharply and termed the situation ‘ridiculous’.
The counsel appearing for the Karnataka government stated that the restriction in Dakshina Kannada district is because many people travel for education and employment, to which the court said: “Consider creating infrastructure near the check post to check RT-PCR test certificates.”