A member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly has moved the Supreme Court challenging Kerala High Court’s refusal to entertain his petition challenging State of Karnataka’s decision to restrict entry of people from Kerala unless they possess a negative RTPCR test.
The special leave petition has been filed by AKM Ashraf challenging Kerala High Court’s order refusing to lift mandatory condition to possess a negative RT-PCR Certificate taken within 72 hours of travel, on grounds of lack of jurisdiction.
The writ petition before the High Court sought urgent orders to allow free movement of daily commuters of people of Kerala to Karnataka by lifting the mandatory condition to possess a negative RT-PCR Certificate taken within 72 hours of travel, irrespective of having taken at least one does of Covid Vaccine.
The petitioner challenged the following two orders before the Kerala High Court:
- Order dated 31.07.2021 issued by the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka directing that for entry from Kerala to the State of Karnataka the travellers including students, professionals, business men who travel on a daily basis will have to undergo RTPCR test even if they are fully vaccinated.
- Order of Deputy Commissioner directing to close the Kerala – Karnataka Border and to cancel the Government Transport buses seeking to pass through the said border.
According to the petitioner, the Kerala High Court’s decision to dismiss his petition for want of territorial Jurisdiction since impugned order was passed by the State of Karnataka is incorrect and the cause of action in the present matter is clearly within the State of Kerala, as effect of these two orders are felt gravely by the people of Kerala.
The petitioner has further submitted that the effect of these orders falls on the students and the public visiting the state every day for education, business, Job, medical treatment and other reasons have been asked to undergo a RT-PCR test which is practically impossible and makes no sense for daily commuters.
“The High Court under Art 226 (2) has ample jurisdiction to issue a Writ against any Government even if the seat of such Government is outside its territory. Therefore, the Kerala High Court had jurisdiction to issue a writ against the Government of Karnataka against the order dated 31.07.2021 passed by the Government of Karnataka”, the petitioner has argued.
The petitioner has also argued that Karnataka Government’s order is in conflict with the directions issued by the Central Government on 25th August directing State Governments, to not mandate RT-PCR test for fully vaccinated peoples to cross from one state to another.
Case Details: AKM Ashraf vs State of Karnataka & Ors