SC Dumps Petitions As Karnataka, Kerala Reach Consensus To Allow Non-COVID-19 Patients Into MangaluruA border road was closed prohibiting entry of vehicles from Kerala into Karnataka.

The Supreme Court dumped a number of petitions on Tuesday (7 April) related to the issue of Karnataka-Kerala border closing by the former’s government amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The decision was taken after the centre informed the SC that a two states had reached a consensus to allow non-COVID-19 patients to cross the Talapadi border to go to the hospitals in Karnataka’s Mangaluru.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde-led bench about a meeting held among the Union Home Secretary and the Chief Secretaries of both states to mutually resolve the matter.

He said an agreement had been reached on the parameters and protocol to let medical patients into Karnataka.

The Apex Court on 3 April had ordered the three parties including the centre to meet and “formulate parameters for passage of patients for urgent medical treatment at the inter-State border at Talapadi”. A hearing was then conducted today (7 April).

Earlier, Karnataka had moved the apex court yesterday challenging the Kerala High Court order that asked the union government to intervene and ensure that the border is open for movement of people from Kerala’s Kasaragod district into Dakshina Kannada. A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta that heard the case today has scheduled the next hearing for 7 April.

Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Kerala High Court Advocates Association seeking directions for opening the inter-state roads, the Kerala High Court had on Wednesday said that the action of blocking access to medical facilities amounted to an infringement of right to life, and freedom of movement.

Member of Parliament from Kasaragod, Rajmohan Unnithan, had also filed a petition in the Supreme Court earlier this week asking the apex court to direct Karnataka to open its borders.

Interestingly while the Congress MP from Kasaragod has sought borders to be opened, the party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Dakshina Kannada Mithun Rai has filed a special leave petition yesterday against the Kerala High Court order.

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