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Coronavirus | Supreme Court asks Uttar Pradesh to file response on quarantine rules

Health workers transporting COVID-19 suspects to a quarantine centre from a slum in Sector 8 of Noida. File

Health workers transporting COVID-19 suspects to a quarantine centre from a slum in Sector 8 of Noida. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file a response on quarantine rules followed in the State.

The court sought details after it was informed that quarantine guidelines issued in Noida were “contrary” to the national guidelines notified by the Centre.

Uttar Pradesh counsel Garima Prasad submitted to a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan that inter-State travel restrictions had been imposed in the Ghaziabad, Noida areas which were part of the NCR of Delhi because COVID-19 cases in Delhi were 40 times that of Noida and Ghaziabad.

Ms. Prasad said the authorities were, however, allowing the entry of essential commodities, services, media and advocates.

Also read: Editorial | A question of quarantine: On migrant workers and other travellers

The court noted that the quarantine order issued by the District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) was “not in conformity” with that of the Centre.

“State is bound to follow the national guidelines,” Justice Bhushan observed, saying such situations could create chaos for citizens.

Meet with States

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for the Centre, briefed the court that a meeting was held with the States of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi on the court’s suggestion for a common or uniform pass system for inter-State movement. Haryana informed that there were no restrictions on inter-State travel, especially through Gurugram, he said.

The court asked Mr. Mehta to place on record the minutes of the meeting and posted the case for June 17.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Gurugram resident Rohit Bhalla alleging that “complete sealing of borders” within NCR and restrictions imposed on movement of citizens were in violation of the new guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

‘Restrict activities’

The plea sought to declare as unconstitutional the measures by the district administrations of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh which allegedly restrict movement for permissible activities in areas falling within the NCR due to “blanket orders of sealing borders without reasonable exceptions.”

Mr. Bhalla’s petition had originally referred to the April 29 order of district administrations in Haryana, which is applicable to Gurugram and Sonepat, and May 3 public statement by the district administrations of Uttar Pradesh about Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad.

It has alleged that these measures are in violation of the MHA’s May 1 guidelines which allow movement for permissible activities and have been adopted by these States.

The plea has alleged that complete sealing of borders within the NCR and restrictions imposed on movement of citizens from attending to permitted activities are “grossly contradictory” and renders the relaxations ineffective.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 8:19:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-supreme-court-asks-uttar-pradesh-to-file-response-on-quarantine-rules/article31817473.ece

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