SC pulls up Kerala govt for lockdown relaxation for Bakrid celebration, says State govt to be accountable if infection spikes

    20-Jul-2021   
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Slamming the Kerala government for relaxing lockdown for 3 days for the Bakrid festival celebrations despite the high incidence of COVID cases in the state, the Supreme Court said that the state government will be held accountable for any spread of infection during this period.
 
The 2-judge bench of Justice RF Nariman and Justice BR Gavai didn't stay the Kerala government's notification while noting that the "horse has already bolted" as the state government submitted that the lockdown relaxation is scheduled to end today.
 
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh argued that India has currently 30,000 cases, “only because of 15,000 in Kerala.” The bench termed the decision, “alarming” that all shops, even non-essential, were allowed to open in category D, which refers to a severe category of infections. The state government has blindly recorded that the opening of shops will strictly follow Covid protocols, Justice Nariman said.
 
The top court also questioned the Kerala government's affidavit which relied on assurances from traders to ensure social distancing and sanitization.
 
“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,” the bench concluded.