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Supreme Court dismisses petition filed by Kerala MLA over negative RT-PCR to enter Karnataka

Haris Beeran, appearing for the petitioner, prayed to the court for a direction to ensure free movement of the people having first dose of Covid-19 vaccine across the border.

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The Supreme Court has today dismissed the petition filed by the MLA of Manjeshwar Constituency in Kerala seeking a direction against the Centre to ensure that mandating negative RT-PCR taken within 72 hours is not made mandatory for people travelling from Kasargod district in the state to Mangaluru (Mangalore) in Karnataka. 

A division bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice B. R. Gavai looking towards the larger public interest refused to entertain the petition and noted that circular issued by the State of Karnataka mandating the RT-PCR test compulsory once in 15 days for the commute is in the larger interest of the people and cannot be interfered with unless it violates fundamental rights.

The Court has further cleared that the right of movement of an individual cannot be considered to be restricted by mandating the RT-PCR test. Haris Beeran, appearing for the petitioner, prayed to the court for a direction to ensure free movement of the people having first dose of Covid-19 vaccine across the border.

He has submitted before the Court that people of Kasargod are dependent on Mangalore city for their daily needs; more specifically the students and patients. He has further submitted that even the Centre on August 25, 2021 had issued a guideline advising to the states to open their territories and remove restrictions, however, in case of necessity of making RT-PCR mandatory state shall publish it in the interest of travellers. 

Beeran further brought into the notice to the Court that Clause 6(3) of the guideline issued by the Centre that provides the guideline where the Centre recommended that asymptomatic patients or persons who have been vaccinated may exempted from showing a negative RT-PCR result.

The Court after hearing him at length dismissed the petition observing that the circular passed by the state does not infringe fundamental rights. However, on the request made by petitioner, the Court has granted him liberty to make a representation to the Government of Karnataka that shall be disposed of according to law.

The present petition was filed against the order passed by the Kerala High Court wherein Court has dismissed the Writ filed by the petitioner challenging the circulars issued by the State of Karnataka on the ground of not having territorial jurisdiction.

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