Udayavni Special

You cannot simply close borders: K’taka HC to State govt


Team Udayavani, Mar 31, 2021, 9:35 AM IST

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday, March 30 said that the a state cannot simply close its borders to people from other States without backing of adequate rules empowering the authorities to do the same.

A Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj who were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the restrictions imposed by state government on the movement of public along the Kerala-Karnataka Border in view of the rising number of Covid-19 infected persons, noted that the guidelines issued by the Central government currently in force do not permit border closures.

“There is a concept of Federalism, you cannot simply close borders,” the Court said.

It, therefore, proceeded to direct the Karnataka State government to make a statement that all check-posts across the Kerala-Karnataka border are open and that only negative RT-PCR reports is being mandated for persons entering the State from Kerala and nothing more.

The Karnataka Government informed the Karnataka High Court that the directive of the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district to close rarely used check-posts at Kerala border will not be acted upon.

The Additional Government Advocate also informed a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj that Clause 3 of the directive issued on March 15, will be reconsidered.

During the hearing on Tuesday, advocate K Ravishankar appearing for the petitioner B Subbaya Rai brought to the notice of the Court, the latest guidelines issued by the Union government dated March 23, which gives no room for imposition of restrictions on inter-and intra-state travel.

The counsel appearing for the Central government re-affirmed the same by stating that “no border restrictions has been imposed in the latest guidelines.”

The Court then asked the State government to make a statement that all the check-posts across the Kerala-Karnataka border are open.

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