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The State of Kerala has filed a reply to Karnataka’s appeal against Kerala HC’s order directing Central government to remove blockade erected by Karnataka to allow access to medical aid to people in Kerala from the hospitals in the adjoining state of Karnataka.

The Joint Secretary of the State of Kerala has stated in its reply that many people in the Northern part of Kasaragod District of Kerala are depending on the Hospitals and the medical facilities available in Mangalore and Sullya districts of the state of Karnataka and this has been a practice for decades. Hence ambulances and vehicles carrying patients across the border ought to be enforced in order to save human lives.

Moreover Kerala being a consumer state is dependent on neighboring states for supply of essential goods which are transported from Karnataka to Kerala through the roads connecting Karnataka from the Kasaragod District.

The State of Kerala has further submitted that the blockade made by Karnataka on many roads passing through the Kerala State border are clear encroachments in to the geographical territory of the state of Kerala. Moreover a total of eight people have lost their lives due to the blockade in which one person died after the appeal was filed by the State of Karnataka.

Kerala has further submitted that the contention of Karnataka that the existing medical facilities in Mangalore were not sufficient to accommodate patients from Kasaragod in Kerala is not true since the hospitals in Mangalore were ready to cater to the patients from Kasaragod.

It has also been stated that the blockade erected by the state of Karnataka thereby preventing movement of patients and essential commodities across the state border amid such a crisis situation is “arbitrary, illegal, and violative of the statutory guidelines and punishable as per the provisions of the Disaster Management Act.”

The state government has further submitted that “the union Government, as mandated under Article 256 of the Constitution of India, is also obliged to issue necessary directions to the state of Karnataka for compliance with the provisions of the DM Act.”

Moreover, the act of the state of Karnataka in blocking the National Highways and the other roads to Kerala, to extent of even preventing residents of Kerala from getting access to medical treatment and preventing movement of essential goods, is violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens of India residing in Kerala under Article 19(1)(d) and 21 of the Constitution of India.”

-India Legal Bureau

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