Kerala defends relaxing curbs for Bakrid; Supreme Court to hear matter today
New Delhi, July 20: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear the Kerala government's response on a plea against the state's decision to curb lockdown restrictions ahead of Bakrid at a time when the state is dealing with an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases.
A Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman, had asked the state government to file its response on Monday.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for his petitioner PKD Nambiar who had filed an intervention application against the state government's call to relax curbs, told the apex court that Kerala currently has the highest daily coronavirus cases in India.
"It's surprising to know that Kerala still has increasing numbers when others have suppressed the situation. Kerala has an official positivity rate of 10.96 per cent and yet the relaxation has been granted. Kerala has 13,000 cases whereas Uttar Pradesh has much fewer COVID cases. The court should pass orders quashing the relaxation," Singh said.
In its response, the state government claimed that "lockdown cannot extend indefinitely" as it is affecting traders.
"Lockdown can't be extended indefinitely. People are frustrated by the curbs. Experts have said that the state is unlikely to face a strong third wave due to fast and systemic vaccination," the Kerala government response reportedly read.
"Lockdown has been lifted squarely for this reason in some areas for facilitating the festival, otherwise all norms for Covid-19 are being strictly followed," the counsel said.
According to reports, the intervention application was filed in suo moto cognizance of the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to hold Kanwar Yatra while Uttarakhand has issued a ban on the pilgrimage.