THE Supreme Court Tuesday slammed the Kerala Government for giving in to the pressure groups to ease lockdown restrictions for Eid-ul-Azha (Bakrid).
It took strong exception to the state’s decision to allow all shops in areas marked as Category D- where the COVID infection rates are high, to open. It warned the state that if any untoward incident was to take place due to this relaxation, any member of the public would be allowed to bring it to the notice of the Court.
In its affidavit, the government said it relaxed COVID lockdown restrictions in view of Bakrid to “alleviate the misery” of traders who claimed that sales during the festive season would bring them some respite from the economic slowdown.
A bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and BR Gavai, however, said, “Pressure groups be they religious or otherwise cannot be allowed to play with the right to health of the citizenry”.
It stopped short of quashing the notification since today is the last day of easing restrictions.
“We would have also quashed the notification had you come earlier before us”, said Supreme Court said to the petitioner.
The bench directed the state government to pay heed to Article 21 (right to life) and follow its decision in the Kanwar Yatra case.