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Supreme Court pulls up Kerala govt for relaxing Covid restrictions on Bakrid, calls it 'shocking'

The apex court observed that it was 'shocking' that the state government has given in to the demands of traders while easing lockdown norms.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: July 20, 2021 13:33 IST
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Supreme Court slams Kerala govt for relaxing Covid restrictions on the occasion of Bakrid.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday came down hard on the Kerala government for relaxing COVID-19 restrictions on the occasion of Bakrid in the state. The apex court observed that it was 'shocking' that the state government has given in to the demands of traders while easing lockdown norms.  

The Supreme Court went on to add that if there is any spread of the COVID-19 infection due to the lockdown relaxations by the Kerala government owing to Bakrid, any person can bring it to the notice of the court which will then take appropriate action.

ALSO READ: 'Unwarranted': IMA asks Kerala to withdraw order easing Covid restrictions ahead of Bakrid

"Pressurehood of any manner cannot infringe upon the most precious right of Right to Life for citizens of India, if any untoward incident takes place then any public can bring it to our notice and action will be taken accordingly," the court said.

The court also directed the Kerala administration to follow the orders it had issued while asking the Centre to cancel the Kanwar Yatra this year in view of the pandemic. 

ALSO READ: UP govt bans slaughter of cows, camels on Bakrid; no gathering of more than 50 people

Kerala govt defends decision

Defending its decision to relax lockdown restrictions, the Kerala government, in its affidavit, said, "It may be noted that the curbs and resultant economic slowdown have put the population in a lot of misery. Even though the state government has taken all possible steps to alleviate the same, the people have been frustrated by the curbs which have been in vogue for more than three months."

The state government said that the traders were expecting that festival sales would alleviate their miseries to a certain extent and they had stocked up goods for this purpose much earlier. "The organisation of traders started to agitate against the stringent curbs implemented...and declared that they will open shops all over the state flouting regulations," added the government, citing that even opposition political parties raised the traders' issue.

On July 17, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had announced the concessions at a press conference and said that in view of Bakrid (Eid-ul-Azha) being celebrated on July 21, textiles, footwear shops, jewellery, fancy stores, shops selling home appliances and electronic items, all types of repairing shops and shops selling essential items shall be allowed to open on July 18, 19 and 20 from 7 AM to 8 PM in category A, B and C areas.

(With inputs from agencies)

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