HC dismisses plea challenging revision of SOP for COVID-19 management in Lakshadweep

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Kochi, May 28 (PTI) The Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed a plea challenging a single bench order in which the court accepted the Lakshadweep administration's contentions in support of the revision of Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) in connection with the COVID-19 management in the islands.

The single bench had dismissed a plea challenging the revised SOP issued on December 22 last year, which substituted the earlier mandatory institutional and home quarantine of all persons travelling to the island, with just a negative test report of RT-PCR, obtained 48 hours before the travel.

In its January 18 order, the single bench had said there had been a complete lock down in the islands for nine months, from March to December 28, 2020.

It observed that the developmental activities had come to a stand still, affecting the economy and several islanders had become jobless during this period.

'It is seen that the Administration of UT of Lakshadweep also found it necessary to resume the activities in the larger public interest', the single bench order had said.

It also noted that the minutes of the meeting of December 23, 2020 and the additional statement filed by the administration would show the arrangements it made to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Challenging the single bench order,islander Shafeeque Rahman K K filed an appeal before the Division Bench of the high court.

He submitted that the single bench order, without considering the far reaching consequences and ramifications, was not proper, correct, legal or sustainable.

Opposing the appeal, the island administration submitted that the apprehension expressed in the writ petition are exaggerated and unrealistic.

Upholding the single bench order, the division bench, comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly, said the Standard Operating Procedure was found to be valid in law. PTI COR TGB APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR

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