New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it may have to continue with the restrictions imposed on the movement at the borders with Delhi, since the Covid-19 cases in the national capital are almost 40 times more than in Noida and Ghaziabad.
The Yogi Adityanath government's counsel informed a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.R. Shah that there are more than 32,000 cases in Delhi, and more than 1,000 people have succumbed to the disease so far, whereas the death toll in Noida and Ghaziabad is about 40.
The Uttar Pradesh government argued that the population of Delhi is about four times of Noida and Ghaziabad, and infection rate is 40 times more, apart from that, Delhi has allowed home quarantine of infected persons.
The court observed that while there were no issues of travel between Delhi and Haryana, there were some issues with Uttar Pradesh. The observation from the top court came while hearing a PIL to allow unrestricted movement in Delhi-NCR region.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said the Home Secretary convened a meeting between chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi. He added that Haryana and Delhi agreed, and now there is no interstate barrier. Mehta said Uttar Pradesh feels that only essentials movement can be allowed. The Adityanath government's counsel insisted that keeping in view the coronavirus situation, it would be difficult to resume movement with Delhi.
The top court queried Mehta: "Are you saying that UP is insisting on institutional quarantine. If a person is asymptomatic are you still putting them in institutional quarantine? Or do you put them under home quarantine?
The UP counsel replied that the state is following the national guidelines. The top court then asked him to check and inform it on the complete information.
"There should not be conflict. Numbers are going up. If you do institutional quarantine for asymptomatic persons in Noida/Ghaziabad and others are not doing it then it may lead to chaos in 15 days down the line. There cannot be guidelines contrary to national guideline," said the bench.
The bench asked Mehta and UP counsel to examine what rule was being followed for quarantine of asymptomatic people in Noida. The top court also asked for the minutes of the meeting between the Home Secretary and chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
The top court asked the UP government to file a reply on what rules were being followed in terms of quarantine, and scheduled the matter for order on Wednesday next week.