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Pay heed to Article 21 and its order in the Kanwar Yatra case: SC to Kerala Gov't

Supreme Court has termed Kerala govt’s three-day relaxation in Covid restrictions due to Bakr Eid alarming, other states issue protocols ahead of festival

Sabrangindia 20 Jul 2021

Eid-ul-AdhaImage Courtesy:indiatoday.in

The Supreme Court came down heavily on Kerala government’s announcement of  a three-day relaxation in Covid restrictions for Eid-ul-Adha (Bakr Eid). The apex court has called this move "wholly uncalled for" and reportedly said the relaxations were a result of the state giving in to “pressure groups".  A two-judge bench of Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai told the Kerala government, "Pressurehood of any manner cannot infringe upon the most precious right of Right to Life for citizens of India. If any untoward incident takes place due to this relaxation, public can bring to our notice and action will be taken accordingly" reported NDTV, adding the SC however, it did not cancel the government notification easing the lockdown in the state.

The court thanked petitioner PK Nambiar for bringing the issue to its notice and directed the state government to “pay heed to Article 21 and its order in the Kanwar Yatra case.” Last week the SC had cited the fundamental right to life to order the Uttar Pradesh government to stop the annual Kanwar Yatra congregations. According to news reports the SC said, “The Kerala government has given in to the demand of traders to relax lockdown norms,” adding that it “can't quash the Kerala government notification. The horse has already bolted.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had announced the concessions at a press conference on July 17 and said that in view of Eid al-Adha shops selling textiles, footwear, jewellery, home appliances, electronic items, and essential items etc will be allowed to open on July 18-20 from 7 A.M to 8 P.M in category A, B and C areas. After the SC observations, the CM has greeted the people on the eve of Eid and asked them to “celebrate responsibly, following Covid protocols.”

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government announced strict directives to be followed for the festival that will be celebrated across India on July 21. Chief Minister Adityanath is reported to have chaired a Covid-19 review meeting with senior officials, and issued instructions in view of Bakr Eid. According to news reports, in UP, “not more than 50 people should gather at any place at a given time for any event related to Bakrid.” The UP government has also told its officials to ensure that “no cows, camels or any other banned animals are sacrificed anywhere.” Animal sacrifice can only be carried out at designated spots or within private property. According to reports, the UP government has imposed Section 144 in Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) till August 30. This is being cited as needed for enforcing covid appropriate behaviour as well as to prevent “a threat to peace and law and order by anti-social elements during the upcoming festivals such as Shivratri, Raksha Bandhan, Bakri-Eid, Janmashtami, Muharram.” Only 50 people will be allowed entry into any religious place at the same time, and all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic and cultural gatherings will need prior permission from the district administration.

In Andhra Pradesh, the state government has issued an advisory for the Eid al-Adha, stating that large congregations must be avoided and prayers must not be offered in Eidgahs or open places, the government also stated in the release. Prayers have been allowed in the state’s mosques with 50 per cent occupancy and mandatory masks and  social distancing in place. According to news reports people have been advised to “carry their own prayer mat to the mosque” and the Imams have been “requested to make the Eid khutbah (sermons) short.” 

In Assam, while the state government has also banned public congregations, India Today reported that a day ahead of  Eid Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Police seized at least 20 cattle in two separate operations from markets along the Indo-Bangladesh border. According to the report, “BSF personnel raided a cattle market at Fakirabazar area in Karimganj which was illegally set up near the Indo-Bangladesh border and seized 16 cattle.” In a separate operation, Karimganj district police raided another cattle market in Balia area, stated the news report, here the authorities “seized four cattle and apprehended six persons.” Police officials told the media that the market was set up in violation of Covid-19 protocols. 

On July 12, the Assam government introduced the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill 2021 to bring in more stringent measures to check the slaughter of cattle in the state. These include greater scrutiny of the process to obtain a “fit for slaughter” certificate by a Veterinary Officer, stricter rules regarding transport of cattle, especially across state lines, and restrictions on the sale and purchase of beef in areas inhabited by Hindus and other non-beef eating communities.  

Related:

Bakrid and the forced controversy around animal sacrifice
Ghaziabad: BJP MLA forcibly closes meat shops

Pay heed to Article 21 and its order in the Kanwar Yatra case: SC to Kerala Gov't

Supreme Court has termed Kerala govt’s three-day relaxation in Covid restrictions due to Bakr Eid alarming, other states issue protocols ahead of festival

Eid-ul-AdhaImage Courtesy:indiatoday.in

The Supreme Court came down heavily on Kerala government’s announcement of  a three-day relaxation in Covid restrictions for Eid-ul-Adha (Bakr Eid). The apex court has called this move "wholly uncalled for" and reportedly said the relaxations were a result of the state giving in to “pressure groups".  A two-judge bench of Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai told the Kerala government, "Pressurehood of any manner cannot infringe upon the most precious right of Right to Life for citizens of India. If any untoward incident takes place due to this relaxation, public can bring to our notice and action will be taken accordingly" reported NDTV, adding the SC however, it did not cancel the government notification easing the lockdown in the state.

The court thanked petitioner PK Nambiar for bringing the issue to its notice and directed the state government to “pay heed to Article 21 and its order in the Kanwar Yatra case.” Last week the SC had cited the fundamental right to life to order the Uttar Pradesh government to stop the annual Kanwar Yatra congregations. According to news reports the SC said, “The Kerala government has given in to the demand of traders to relax lockdown norms,” adding that it “can't quash the Kerala government notification. The horse has already bolted.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had announced the concessions at a press conference on July 17 and said that in view of Eid al-Adha shops selling textiles, footwear, jewellery, home appliances, electronic items, and essential items etc will be allowed to open on July 18-20 from 7 A.M to 8 P.M in category A, B and C areas. After the SC observations, the CM has greeted the people on the eve of Eid and asked them to “celebrate responsibly, following Covid protocols.”

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government announced strict directives to be followed for the festival that will be celebrated across India on July 21. Chief Minister Adityanath is reported to have chaired a Covid-19 review meeting with senior officials, and issued instructions in view of Bakr Eid. According to news reports, in UP, “not more than 50 people should gather at any place at a given time for any event related to Bakrid.” The UP government has also told its officials to ensure that “no cows, camels or any other banned animals are sacrificed anywhere.” Animal sacrifice can only be carried out at designated spots or within private property. According to reports, the UP government has imposed Section 144 in Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) till August 30. This is being cited as needed for enforcing covid appropriate behaviour as well as to prevent “a threat to peace and law and order by anti-social elements during the upcoming festivals such as Shivratri, Raksha Bandhan, Bakri-Eid, Janmashtami, Muharram.” Only 50 people will be allowed entry into any religious place at the same time, and all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic and cultural gatherings will need prior permission from the district administration.

In Andhra Pradesh, the state government has issued an advisory for the Eid al-Adha, stating that large congregations must be avoided and prayers must not be offered in Eidgahs or open places, the government also stated in the release. Prayers have been allowed in the state’s mosques with 50 per cent occupancy and mandatory masks and  social distancing in place. According to news reports people have been advised to “carry their own prayer mat to the mosque” and the Imams have been “requested to make the Eid khutbah (sermons) short.” 

In Assam, while the state government has also banned public congregations, India Today reported that a day ahead of  Eid Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Police seized at least 20 cattle in two separate operations from markets along the Indo-Bangladesh border. According to the report, “BSF personnel raided a cattle market at Fakirabazar area in Karimganj which was illegally set up near the Indo-Bangladesh border and seized 16 cattle.” In a separate operation, Karimganj district police raided another cattle market in Balia area, stated the news report, here the authorities “seized four cattle and apprehended six persons.” Police officials told the media that the market was set up in violation of Covid-19 protocols. 

On July 12, the Assam government introduced the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill 2021 to bring in more stringent measures to check the slaughter of cattle in the state. These include greater scrutiny of the process to obtain a “fit for slaughter” certificate by a Veterinary Officer, stricter rules regarding transport of cattle, especially across state lines, and restrictions on the sale and purchase of beef in areas inhabited by Hindus and other non-beef eating communities.  

Related:

Bakrid and the forced controversy around animal sacrifice
Ghaziabad: BJP MLA forcibly closes meat shops

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