The Kerala High Court on 1st April 2020 directed the Central Government to remove the border blockade imposed by the Karnataka state. This was to allow the passage of patients from the state of Kerala to receive immediate medical care and assistance from the hospitals in Karnataka. The court stated that this road blockade will cause the rejection of access to health care amenities and services. Therefore Article 21 of the Indian Constitution will be ultra vires as the right to life is denied to the patients. Even Article 19(1)(d) will also be infringed that is the freedom of movement guaranteed under the Constitution of India. The Kerala High Court stated that it is the duty and the obligation of Central Government to ensureth roads that connect Mangalore to Kasaragod which are the part of the National Highway are kept free from blockades. The court believed that the Centre will take their plea on humanity grounds. Due to which the court believes that to protect the fundamental rights that are Article 21 and 19(1)(d) it is essential to pass the order to facilitate the free movement of vehicles carrying persons for urgent medical assistance between the two States. Keeping in the mind the fact India is a signatory to the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In which Article 12 clearly states that the state parties to recognise the right of physical and mental health and provide with medical services in the event of sickness. On the same time, it breaches Article 301 and 304 of the Indian Constitution. The court also denied the argument that Kerala Government has no jurisdiction over the issue. Such restriction can be imposed during the national emergency. The Central Government under the Disaster Management Act allows transportation for urgent medical services. The Kerala High Court has no jurisdiction over this case under Article 226(2) of the Constitution. (i.e concerning Nawal Kishore Sharma V Union of India). The matter should be addressed the apex court under Article 131 that is the exclusive jurisdiction as the Supreme Court has its power over interstate disputes. The state of Kerala argued that the Karnataka's blockade has no validity of the law or constitutionally. The National Highway, in this case, Mangalore to Kasaragod is maintained by NHAI. The state government has no authority in this matter. The Karnataka government is standing firm in its decision due to the sudden spike in COVD 19 cases in the district of Kasargod. The delay in issuing directions could cause the loss of precious lives.
Tags : Managalore to Kasaragod - Blockade imposed