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SC to Centre: intervene in road closure between Kasaragod, Mangaluru

The bench took up via video conferencing an appeal against the Kerala High Court order directing the opening of roads so that patients from Kasaragod can access emergency medical care facilities in Mangaluru.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
April 4, 2020 2:05:48 am
SC to Centre: intervene  in road closure between Kasaragod, Mangaluru The bench did not stay the Kerala High Court order but asked the states not to precipitate matters. (File)

Batting for an amicable settlement of the row between Karnataka and Kerala over the closure of roads linking Kasaragod district to Mangaluru, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to discuss the matter with the states and formulate parameters for passage of patients for urgent medical treatment.

“We direct the Union of India and the States of Karnataka and Kerala to confer immediately and formulate the parameters for passage of patients for urgent medical treatment at the interstate border at Talapadi,” said a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta. The bench took up via video conferencing an appeal against the Kerala High Court order directing the opening of roads so that patients from Kasaragod can access emergency medical care facilities in Mangaluru.

The bench did not stay the Kerala High Court order but asked the states not to precipitate matters.

In its appeal before the Supreme Court, Karnataka contended that the opening of the roads would lead to law and order issues as local residents were wary of people from Kasaragod crossing over given that the district has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

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On Wednesday, the Kerala High Court had directed the Centre to ensure that blockades put up by Karnataka on national highways connecting it to Kerala are removed forthwith in order to facilitate free movement of vehicles carrying people for urgent medical treatment between the two states.

The High Court ruling came in the wake of the death of seven patients from Kasaragod, bordering Karnataka, who regularly availed hospital facilities in Mangaluru. The relatives of the deceased alleged that they could not cross the border due to the blockade imposed by Karnataka.

Before the High Court, Karnataka Advocate General had contended that the court would be exceeding its territorial jurisdiction if it issues any direction.

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But the court rejected this and said, “When a High Court of a state finds and declares the actions of the government of another State to be illegal and unconstitutional, the said state government would be obliged to defer to the said declaration of law by a Constitutional Court of this country, notwithstanding that the said court is situated beyond the territorial limits of the said state. The Karnataka government cannot therefore be heard to contend that it is not obliged to respect the fundamental right of a citizen who resides outside its territorial limits.”

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First published on: 04-04-2020 at 02:05:48 am
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