“If Unrestricted Entry Into Goa Would Be Allowed, Medical Infra Would Collapse”: Bombay HC Dismisses Govt’s Request Seeking Entry Relaxations

first_imgNews Updates”If Unrestricted Entry Into Goa Would Be Allowed, Medical Infra Would Collapse”: Bombay HC Dismisses Govt’s Request Seeking Entry Relaxations Sparsh Upadhyay18 May 2021 9:28 PMShare This – xThe Bombay High Court (Goa Bench) on Tuesday (May 18) dismissed two application filed by the Government of Goa seeking vacation/modification of Court’s order which directed the State to ensure that persons entering into the State possess a COVID negative certificate. The Bench of Justice M. S. Sonak and Justice M. S. Jawalkar had, on May 6, directed the Goa State Administration to ensure that no persons are permitted entry into the State without a negativity certificate issued within 72 hours from the time the travellers seek entry into the State. State’s application for modification The state government urged that a waiver be granted in respect of persons who are employed in Goa and travel between the neighbouring States and the State of Goa daily subject to such persons being thermally scanned and producing proof of employment at the respective check posts. It was submitted that the restrictions imposed by Court’s order dated May 6 were quite disproportionate and occasioned serious prejudice to residents of Goa who wish to enter into Goa as well as the persons who wish to enter into Goa for purposes of their daily work. It was submitted that Goa being is a small state, it has to rely upon its neighbouring States of Maharashtra and Karnataka for supplies, labour, and workforce and that the restriction was affecting the economy of Goa and the smooth operation of industries. Lastly, it was argued that the procedure for obtaining a COVID -19 negative certificate was quite cumbersome that even laboratories everywhere are overburdened, issuing such certificates. Court’s observations At the outset, the Court noted that the State, right from the beginning had been resisting the restriction of requiring persons to possess a COVID -19 negative certificate for entry into the State of Goa. The Court also observed that despite its “clear and unambiguous direction” dated May 6,021, the District Magistrates of the two districts comprising the State of Goa, proceeded to issue orders dated May 8, virtually defying Court’s orders and proceeding to carve out, either by themselves or otherwise, the exceptions in favour of certain categories of persons. The Court had further observed that the said modification was “quite a serious and unfortunate matter”, however, the Court did not pursue the “serious and unfortunate matter” any further. Further, the Court remarked, “We do not feel that any case has been made out by the State for us to vacate our interim direction, particularly now that we have already modified our interim direction by granting a waiver in cases of medical emergencies and transportation of supplies in the State of Goa.” Importantly, the Court also observed that it had not barred entry into Goa and that the only requirement was that even such persons, along with others, must have a COVID-19 negative certificate to enter into the State of Goa. “If a waiver is to be granted based upon such vague and ambiguous classification, then, there will be no meaning to the restrictions directed by us in the public interest…(the state) has not even bothered to explain whether it is in a position to verify from each potential entrant whether such entrant is indeed a resident of Goa or coming into Goa for some work” added the Court. Importantly, the Court observed that on one hand, there was material on record that the medical infrastructure in the State is quite over-stressed, while on the other hand, if there are no restrictions, whatsoever on the entry into the State of Goa, then, this medical infrastructure will completely collapse. With this, the application of the State Government seeking modification of Court’s May 6 order was dismissed. Click here To Download OrderRead OrderTagsGoa bench Entry in Goa Unrestricted Entry Into Goa Bombay HC Bombay High Court at Goa Bombay High Court covid Covid-19 Next Storylast_img read more