No stay on Kerala HC order to Karnataka to open its borders for patients from Kasargode

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The apxex court has directed the Union Health Secretary to hold talks with the Health Secretaries and Chief Secretaries of both States in order to find an amicable solution.

The Supreme Court has refused to accept Karnataka government’s plea for a stay on the Kerala high court order directing the opening of the Karnataka-Kerala border during the coronavirus lockdown.

Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta, who heard the appeal via video conference on Friday, has instead issued notice to the central government in this regard.  The apex bench directed the concerned parties not to precipitate the issue until the next date of hearing on April 7.

The bench directed the Union Health Secretary to hold talks with the Health Secretaries and Chief Secretaries of both States in order to find an amicable solution. The respective functionaries are expected to discuss on the parameters for allowing passage at the border in case of health emergencies.

The passage was sought to allow patients from Kasargode district in Kerala to travel to nearby hospitals in Karnataka's Mangalore district for medical treatment.

Appearing for the Karnataka Government, Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi told the Supreme Court that opening the border would hamper the State's effort to contain COVID-19, since Kasargod is a hotspot for Corona.

After hearing submissions, notice on the plea has now been issued to the Central Government and other respondents, including the State Government and Kerala.

The petition filed on behalf of the State of Karnataka by Advocate Shubhranshu Padhi argues that, "any opening of the road will lead to disastrous consequences."

"The sealing of the state borders with the neighbouring states is in the interest of public health especially when there is a grave concern of spreading of the disease from the Bordering- Districts of the State of Kerala where the situation is really dire."

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