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Friday, September 25, 2020

Fix uniform policy on movement within NCR, SC to states

The petitioner alleged “complete sealing of borders” within the NCR and restrictions imposed on movement of citizens violated the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 1, which allow movement for permissible activities.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | June 5, 2020 4:00:45 am
coronavirus testing kits, coronavirus outbreak, India lockdown, Covid-19 pandemic, delhi news, indian express news At the Delhi-UP border in Noida, Friday. (Photo: Abhinav Saha)

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to hold a meeting with the Centre to evolve a common policy on allowing inter-state movement in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Underlining that there should be a consistent policy for the NCR, a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and M R Shah asked the states to try and find a common programme and portal within a week.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Rohit Bhalla, a Gurgaon-based entrepreneur, who sought to declare as unconstitutional the measures imposed by the Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi administrations, which purportedly restrict movement for permissible activities in areas falling within the NCR due to “blanket orders of sealing borders without reasonable exceptions”.

The petitioner alleged “complete sealing of borders” within the NCR and restrictions imposed on movement of citizens violated the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 1, which allow movement for permissible activities.

Taking up the matter, filed through Advocates Anindita Mitra and Aman Bhalla, via video conference, the bench said there was a recommendation for a common pass for the NCR, which should be recognised by all three states.

The Haryana government counsel told the bench that the state has lifted all restrictions on movement at its borders.

The counsel for Delhi said a consistent policy was needed for the NCR.

The court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to take instructions on this question and posted the matter for hearing after a week.

In his plea, the petitioner listed the difficulties caused by restrictions on movement, and said industrial operations were unable to re-start as industrial areas are located in Central NCR, while the management of such units have to travel from other areas within the NCR, thereby requiring the daily crossing of the inter-state borders.

It referred to the April 29 order of the district administrations in Haryana, applicable to Gurgaon and Sonipat, and a public statement on May 3 by the district administrations of Uttar Pradesh on Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad in this regard.

On May 15, the Supreme Court had sought responses from the Centre and the three states on the petition.

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