KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed both state governments to inform the court about the arrangements that could be made for catering to the medical needs of patients in Kasaragod district based on the proximity of the hospitals in Karnataka. The court will again consider the case on Wednesday. A division bench comprising Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice Shaji P Chaly, while considering a petition filed by the Kerala High Court Advocates Association seeking a directive to take measures to ensure that the blockades put up by the Karnataka government on the roads, especially the National Highways, cutting through the border between the two states are immediately removed.
When the case came up for hearing, P K Navadgi, Advocate-General of Karnataka, informed the court that the hospitals in Mangaluru are overcrowded and cannot accommodate patients from Kasaragod. In this situation, Karnataka may not be compelled to open the border roads from Kasaragod, he said.
To this, Ranjith Thampan, Additional Advocate- General of Kerala, said both Kerala and Karnataka are member states of the Indian Union and are bound by the directives issued under the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Act, which permitted transportation of patients. He also pointed out that domicile requirement cannot be a criterion to accord treatment in a hospital. He also pointed out that Mangaluru is just 15km from Thalappady, which is convenient to patients in Kasaragod.