HYDERABAD: Taking serious exception to the denial of entry into Telangana for ambulances from Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana High Court on Friday stayed the operation of the guidelines which mandate that all COVID-19 patients should obtain e-passes to enter the state.
A division bench of the High Court, after hearings on a lunch motion moved by a retired officer Venkatakrishna Rao, ordered that the stay orders be in force till further notice.
The division bench also laid down that the state should not issue any orders in any form on the movement of ambulances across the borders.
The division bench, during the hearing, took the state government to task asking whether it did not know that such an action was in defiance of the court's earlier orders.
The court, while hearing arguments on the PIL, asked if the government did not know that refusing permission to an ambulance into Telangana was against the Constitution.
The court pointed out that no state had so far denied entry to ambulances. It wanted to know who has given the powers to the state government to deny permission to ambulances to enter Telangana. The government should understand that the Constitution has given the right to life to all.
The AG, defending denial of permission to ambulances, said the decision was taken keeping in view the lack of availability of beds for people in Telangana who were finding it difficult to get admission in hospitals. He referred to the Delhi government also imposing restriction on admissions to hospitals.
He said it had been made clear that patients in other states should come to Telangana only after confirmation of a bed in a hospital. There has been a steady increase in the rush of COVID-19 patients from the neighbouring states of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, AP and Karnataka.
The petitioner prayed to the court to declare the denial of entry into Telangana for ambulances as ultra vires and ensure free passage for them to Hyderabad.