Plea against restriction on movement in NCR; SC seeks replies from Centre, Delhi, UP & Haryana

New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) The Supreme Court Friday sought responses from the Centre and governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi on a plea which has raised issue of restriction on movement for permissible activities in the NCR due to sealing of borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, to take instructions on the plea which has alleged that 'complete sealing of borders' within NCR and restrictions imposed on movement of citizens was in violation of the new guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

'Issue notice returnable next week,' the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and B R Gavai, said in its order.

The plea has sought to declare as unconstitutional the measures by the district administrations of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh which allegedly restrict movement for permissible activities in areas falling within the NCR due to 'blanket orders of sealing borders without reasonable exceptions'.

The plea, filed by Gurugram resident Rohit Bhalla, has referred to the April 29 order of district administrations in Haryana, which is applicable to Gurugram and Sonepat, and May 3 public statement by the district administrations of Uttar Pardesh about Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad.

It has alleged that these measures are in violation of the MHA's May 1 guidelines which allow movement for permissible activities and has been adopted by these states.

It has sought to declare as illegal such measures which restricts movement in the NCR or National Capital Region.

'Residents of NCR who have family members or loved ones residing on either side of the inter-state border within the NCR are facing harassment in crossing the said inter-state borders in cases of medical emergency, access to hospitals/healthcare professionals and essential needs. There is no manner of expediting a pass for medical emergencies,' the plea has claimed.

It has sought directions to governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to set up and maintain a common portal or mechanism for movement passes within the NCR for permissible activities as per MHA's guidelines.

The plea has alleged that complete sealing of borders within the NCR and restrictions imposed on movement of citizens from attending to permitted activities are 'grossly contradictory' and renders the relaxations ineffective. PTI ABA MNL SJK SA