The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to Centre on a plea seeking intervention in the Haryana Government’s order restricting the movements of essentials as well as the movement of doctors, nurses and court officials who are permanently employed in Delhi while stating that order “constitutes an infringement” on the rights of citizens.
A division bench presided by Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula of Delhi High Court while conducting hearing through video conferencing noted that the orders passed by the District Magistrate, Sonipat, restricting the movement, constitutes an infringement of Articles 19(1)(d) and 301 of the Constitution of India especially when the entire National Capital and Sonipat are not containment zones.
The Court issued notice to Centre and Haryana Government and list the matter for hearing on May 12.
The Court passed its order on the plea filed by Shri O. P. Gupta seeking direction to the Union of India to stop Govt. of Haryana from disobeying the orders & directions dated 15.04.2020 issued by Union of India and the Union of India be directed to deploy Para-Central Forces on these five border points of Haryana to stop the Govt. of Haryana from restricting the movements of essential supply of the vegetable, fruits, milk, medicines along with the restrictions on the movement of Doctors, Nurses and Court staff who are permanently employed in Delhi.
“Prima facie, this Court is of the view that the order dated 30th April, 2020 of District Magistrate, Sonipat, prevents and obstructs the movement of trucks from Delhi to Sonipat as well as movement of Doctors, Nurses, Court officials etc. to and from Delhi to Sonipat. Accordingly, this Court is of the prima facie view that the order dated 30th April, 2020 by the District Magistrate, Sonipat, constitutes an infringement of Articles 19(1)(d) and 301 of the Constitution of India especially when the entire National Capital and Sonipat are not containment zones,” said the Court.
The Court noted, “This Court is also in prima facie agreement with the submission of the petitioner that the action of the District Magistrate, Sonipat, is contrary to the orders/letters dated 15th April, 2020, 30th April, 2020 and 01st May, 2020 issued by the Union Home Secretary.”
The Court also referred to the order of the Kerala High Court where the court has held, “No doubt, restrictions may be imposed in times of a national emergency such as the present, but when the guidelines issued by the Central Government under the Disaster Management Act itself permits travel for urgent medical treatment, then the said guidelines have necessarily to be enforced by the Central Government through the removal of the blockades that prevent such travel.”
The Petitioner submitted that Sonipat is not only contiguous to Delhi but also a part of National Capital Region, a number of Delhi residents have to travel to Sonipat for essential work and similarly a number of Sonipat residents have to travel to Delhi. He submitted that the District Magistrate, Sonipat, has imposed blanket cross border transit restrictions between Delhi and Sonipat and granted exemptions to only a few categories of Government officials and for movement of goods not destined for Sonipat.
-India Legal Bureau