The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the authorities in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh a week’s time to decide on allowing inter-state transport in the National Capital Region, reported Bar and Bench. The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah also asked the central government to call a meeting between the officials from the three states to end the chaos at the borders.
The court’s remarks came on a petition filed by Gurugram resident Rohit Bhalla who challenged the sealing of borders with Delhi by the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments. He argued that the move was unconstitutional as it affected the right to travel under Article 19. He had pointed out that it caused great confusion and difficulties for people who wanted to visit Delhi for urgent needs.
While all of these three states have announced major relaxations in lockdown guidelines from June 1, inter-state travel is still not permitted. Last week, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the state borders will remain sealed for week. “Essential services are exempted,” he had announced. “We will take a decision again in one week to open borders after seeking suggestions from citizens.” The CM had said that the borders are being sealed so that hospitals in the state can handle the sudden spike of Covid-19 cases.
Authorities in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida had sealed all routes connecting to Delhi in April. On May 31, the Noida administration confirmed that the border would remain closed till further notice, stating that 42% of cases in the area had been tracked back to the national Capital.
The Haryana government has also decided to keep its borders with the national Capital sealed, except for essential services, to contain the coronavirus outbreak. In April, state Home Minister Anil Vij had said that the people who worked in Delhi and stayed in Haryana had become “corona-carriers”.