by Tanya Vashistha
State of Karnataka has moved to supreme court to challenge the order of the Kerala high court which directed the union government to remove the blocked border, which has been blocked by the Karnataka state to not let the patients from Kerala enter into the state of Karnataka.
Kerala has filed CAVEAT in this matter. It was a dual bench comprising of Justice Nageshwara Rao and Deepak Gupta considered a writ petition filed by Kerala MP Rajamohan Unnithan against the action done by Karnataka.
The petition stated that – the high court of Kerala overstepped its territorial jurisdiction under of India by passing directions in a matter in which article 226(2) of the constitution of India by passing directions in a matter in which the cause of action completely arose within the state of Karnataka.
The plea said that “the hon’ble high court failed to consider that the hospitals in Mangluru, Dakshin Kannada district, are already overburdened and the people residing in Mangluru are in panic due to the increasing number of cases in the district of Kerala, especially in Kasargod district. It is humble submitted that the resources of the state of Karnataka are hard pressed and it is very difficult to cater to the needs of new patients from the state of Kerala. It is also humbly submitted that it is very difficult on ground level to differentiate a covid-19 patient and other medial cases.”
State of Karnataka in its petition argued that – It can be essentially made out that the dispute is between two states and thus falls exclusive jurisdiction of Supreme Court under the ambit of article 131, therefore high court should not have passed suchorders in public interest litigation.
The high court held that Karnataka’s road blockade led to the denial of access to health which is the violation of article 21 which is right to life, it has also affected right to freedom of movement under article 19(1) of the constitution.
If the blockade continues it would lead to high amount of infected persons and deaths especially in the Kasargod district of Kerala. Additionally the court has observed that the guidelines issued by the union home ministry under the disaster management act had exempted emergency medical services from the ambit of lockdown.
It has been observed by the high court that “the right of a citizen to move freely throughout the territory of India subject to reasonable restrictions that may be imposed in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, public order etc., is recognized under article 19(1)(d) of our constitution. A citizen also has a fundamental right to life and personal liberty guaranteed to him by the state under 21 of our constitution.
Both theses rights are simultaneously infringed in the case of a resident of the state of Kerala when he/she denied entry into the state of Karnataka for availing medical treatment, or is deprived of essential articles of food that are being transported into the state through blockades erected by the state of Karnataka”,