SC tells Noida not be in denial over death of pregnant lady looking for hospital bed
New Delhi, Jun 17: The Supreme Court Wednesday told district administration of Gautam Budh Nagar in the NCR not to be in denial mode as it took a serious view of an incident where a pregnant lady lost her life recently while looking for a bed in hospitals of the district.
The top court also asked the district administration to ensure that it does not have separate quarantine guidelines than the national guidelines.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and M R Shah asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file a detailed affidavit in two weeks. “Don't be in a denial mode that there is no problem,” the bench said, while referring to news report of pregnant lady losing her life recently for want of hospital bed in the district. The top court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to intervene and look into the issue.
On June 12, the top court had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to explain the guidelines issued by the Noida administration on institutional quarantine amid the COVID-19 pandemic, observing they are not in "conformity" with the national guidelines.
"There cannot be a guideline contrary to the national guidelines," the court had said, adding, that any directive contrary to the national or state guidelines might lead to chaos. The apex court, while hearing through video-conferencing a plea which has raised the issue of restriction on movement for permissible activities in the national capital region (NCR), asked the state government to give it "complete information" on whether asymptomatic persons were put under institutional or home quarantine in Noida.
"It is also brought to our notice that certain guidelines issued by District Magistrate, Noida are not in conformity with the National guidelines and the guidelines issued by the state of Uttar Pradesh," the bench had noted in its order. While asking the Centre to ensure that states do not violate national guidelines, the bench had observed that authorities are bound to follow the guidelines.
The Centre had informed the top court that the home secretary had convened a joint meeting on June 9 with chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to deal with the issue of restriction on movement in the NCR. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, had said that now there is no barrier on the borders of Delhi and Haryana but Uttar Pradesh has raised some issues.
The bench noted in its order that Mehta has "submitted that although there are no baseless issues with regard to state of Haryana and Delhi, however, with regard to state of Uttar Pradesh there are some different instructions have been issued by the District Magistrate, Noida and there are some issues with regard to border of the state of Uttar Pradesh".
Uttar Pradesh government had told the top court that they have already filed an status report and are permitting all essential services and medical staffs, lawyers and media persons are allowed. It had told the apex court that state is bound to follow the national guidelines and appropriate remedial steps, if any, shall be taken by the District Magistrate.
On June 4, the apex court had asked the Centre to convene a meeting of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for easing inter-state movement at all borders in the NCR amid certain restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It had also observed that there should be a consistent policy in this regard for the NCR.
The plea, filed through advocate Anindita Mitra, has alleged that "complete sealing of borders" within the NCR and restrictions imposed on movement of citizens was in violation of the new guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The petition has sought to declare as unconstitutional the measures by the district administrations of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh which allegedly restrict movement for permissible activities in areas falling within the NCR due to "blanket orders of sealing borders without reasonable exceptions". It has referred to the April 29 order of district administrations in Haryana, which is applicable to Gurugram and Sonepat, and May 3 public statement by the district administrations of Uttar Pradesh about Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad.