NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the District Magistrate (DM) of Noida, Suhas L.Y., for not following the national guidelines on Covid-19 quarantine protocol.
The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah criticised the Noida DM's order on the necessity of institutional quarantine instead of home quarantine. "There cannot be guidelines contrary to national guidelines," it observed.
The bench was hearing a plea seeking lifting of restrictions on inter-state movement between Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The bench observed that such a situation can create chaos, and sought explanation from the Uttar Pradesh government's counsel. The bench also asked the DM to review the order.
"We may pass order clarifying that the Noida order is bad and national guidelines will have to be followed," said the bench.
The UP government counsel submitted before the court that though there were home quarantine rules in Delhi, Ghaziabad and Noida were following institutional quarantine guidelines.
On this argument, the court replied, "What about asymptomatic patients? The national guidelines say home quarantine for asymptomatic persons."
The top court scheduled the matter for further hearing on June 17.
Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, informed the top court that the chief secretaries of all three states -- Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh -- and the Union Home Secretary had a meeting on June 9, where it was conveyed that there would be no restriction on Delhi-Haryana route, but the Delhi-UP border needs to be manned.
The top court asked the UP government counsel to find out whether Noida District Magistrate has issued orders contrary to national guidelines regarding home or institutional quarantine.
Justice Bhushan said the Noida DM had issued instructions contrary to the ones issued by Uttar Pradesh. "Though essential services are allowed, the DM's orders are not in conformity with the guidelines issued by the UP government," observed the bench.
Justice Shah urged Mehta to look into the matter and ensure that states "do not violate the national guidelines." The UP government counsel added that the state has allowed doctors, advocates, mediapersons and others on showing e-pass while crossing the borders.
On the issues related to inter-state movement in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court had said on on June 4 that the endeavour should be to have a common policy, common portal and one pass for inter-state travel in the NCR.
The SC bench gave one week to the Centre to resolve the issues faced by the common man. The bench also asked the Centre to convene a meeting of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana to evolve a common policy along with a procedure of movement for the commuters crossing over in Delhi-NCR.