Mumbai, Aug 20 (PTI) The Bombay High Court has refused to interfere with the Maharashtra government's order introducing several restrictions on citizens traveling to the Konkan region for the Ganesh festival this year.
A bench of Justices K K Tated and M N Jamdar held on Tuesday that the state's order issued on August 7 this year, that mandates, among other things, a 10-day home quarantine period for those travelling to Konkan, did not infringe upon the fundamental rights of citizens.
The festival will start on August 22.
The bench held that the order had been issued to contain the spread of coronavirus and to ensure that citizens did not face difficulties in visiting their native places in the Konkan region.
As per the said government order, those travelling to the Konkan region till August 12 were required to be in 10-day home quarantine.
Those travelling after August 12 will be permitted to go only after they test negative for COVID-19.
One Santosh Gaurav filed a plea in the HC, challenging the state's order saying that it breached his right to travel freely within the country.
He added that mandatory quarantine was an unscientific method of controlling the spread of coronavirus and that it could lead to anxiety and other issues in some persons.
The high court, however, dismissed the petitioner's arguments and said that the state was well within its powers to impose such restrictions.
'Although the lockdown has resulted in preventing the spread of COVID-19 virus to a certain extent, the number of people who are affected/infected as on date in the state of Maharashtra is not very healthy,' the bench said.
'It is the need of the hour that effective steps are taken to contain the spread of COVID-19, especially where transportation of citizens from one region to another is concerned. It is in this aspect that the government order dated 7.08.2020 has been passed and we need to appreciate the same,' the bench said while refusing to interfere with the state's order. PTI AYA NP NP