MLA seeks Kerala HC intervention to relax RT-PCR certificate rule for travel to Karnataka
The petition said authorities are insisting that people visiting Karnataka every day for education, business, job and medical treatment produce negative certificates which is practically impossible
KOCHI: Manjeshwar MLA AKM Ashraf on Monday approached the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the central government to relax the requirement of RT-PCR negative certificates not older than 72 hours for daily commuters to Karnataka. He also sought a directive to open the borders with Kerala and in particular the Kasaragod-Mangalore border at Thalappadi.
The petition filed through advocates Haris Beeran and OA Nuriya stated that as per the Karnataka government's order, all passengers from Kerala are required to possess a negative RT-PCR certificate taken within 72 hours. Even people who have taken two doses of vaccine are required to take the test.
The Karnataka government directed the deputy commissioners of Dakshina Kannada districts to make necessary arrangements and deploy personnel at check-posts to ensure that all vehicles which enter the state comply with the conditions. The petition stated that the authorities are insisting on negative certificates for people visiting Karnataka every day for education, business, job and medical treatment which is practically impossible. Hence, the policy decision is against natural justice and is violative of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
According to the MLA, the people of Manjeshwar constituency are dependent on Dakshin Kannada districts/Mangalore city for their basic needs. During the first lockdown in 2020, a similar blockade was made by Karnataka which had allegedly claimed the lives of 22 people who were denied entry for urgent medical treatment. Due to the current blockade, the majority of activities of the people of Kasaragod district have come to a standstill.
The petitioner also sought a directive to the central government to ensure free movement of daily commuters who have taken at least the first dose of vaccine through the border without insisting on negative RT-PCR done 72 hours prior to the date of travel to Karnataka.
He further pointed out that as per the policy of the Union government, there should not be restrictions on the inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods including those for cross land border trade.