Matter of lives, clarify stance on border closure before 5.30 pm: Kerala HC tells Karnataka
Kochi: Kerala High Court has strictly directed Karnataka to clarify its stance regarding the closure of Kerala-Karnataka border before 5.30 pm on Wednesday. Court observed that it is a matter concerning human lives and can’t take forever to decide after Karnataka demanded more time in this regard.
Chief Secretaries of both states will hold discussions and arrive at a decision. The court is likely to pronounce the verdict today itself.
HC severely reprimanded Karnataka Advocate General after he informed that the border to Kasaragod can’t be opened as it is severely affected by COVID-19. Court observed Karnataka’s stance as inhuman.
HC also brushed off Karnataka’s suggestion that the case should be taken up by Supreme Court as it’s a matter regarding two states. As it concerns the people of Kerala, Kerala HC can intervene, the court further observed.
After Karnataka reaffirmed that they will not open the road to Kasaragod, Kerala suggested measures including disinfection of vehicles travelling to Mangaluru. However, Karnataka rejected this offer.
Kerala had submitted an affidavit in the HC stating that six patients had died after Karnataka denied treatment. It also refuted Karnataka’s claim that hospitals in Managaluru are full and that they can’t take any more patients. A letter from a hospital in Mangaluru offering to treat patients from Kerala was submitted with the affidavit.
People of Kasaragod had been depending on Mangaluru for treatment for years. Many require follow-up treatments and regular checkups. Closing the border denies treatment to all these patients. Kerala has lost six lives as Karnataka denied treatment, it was said in the affidavit.
Kerala also submitted a copy of the order issued by Karnataka Chief Secretary on March 23 stating no patient should be blocked coming from neighbouring states when borders are closed in the wake of COVID-19.