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Illegal movement restrictions imposed by Haryana for Delhi have been done away with, after Delhi HC sought explanation

The Delhi High Court on May 14, 2020 {O.P. GUPTA v. UNION OF INDIA & ANR.} had disposed of the PIL filed on account of restrictions imposed by State of Haryana qua movement of people to and fro from Haryana to Delhi. When after issue of notice by Delhi HC, the State of Haryana acceded to comply with directions of Central Government, issued time to time, till date, apropos movement of persons & trucks.

Initially, the court issued notice to UOI & State of Haryana, and observed in order dated 8th May, 2020, that prima facie, the Court is of the view that the order dated 30th April, 2020 of District Magistrate, Sonipat, prevents and obstructs the movement of trucks from Delhi to Sonipat as well as movement of Doctors, Nurses, Court officials etc. to and from Delhi to Sonipat. Accordingly, it was held that the Court is of the prima facie view that the order dated 30th April, 2020 by the District Magistrate, Sonipat, constitutes an infringement of Articles 19(1)(d) and 301 of the Constitution of India especially when the entire National Capital and Sonipat are not containment zones. It was further held that the Court is also in prima facie agreement with the submission of the petitioner that the action of the District Magistrate, Sonipat, is contrary to the orders/letters dated 15th April, 2020, 30th April, 2020 and 01st May, 2020 issued by the Union Home Secretary. 

Now in final order passed by the HC, it was recorded that it has now been undertaken by the State of Haryana, that is:

"A) Free movement of trucks carrying both the essential as well as nonessential goods between Delhi and Haryana (except to and fro between Containment Zones) as well as transiting through Haryana shall be allowed.

B) The Delhi - Haryana border is open and the roads near the border have not been dug up. The said border shall be kept open and shall be manned by security personnel.

C) Movement of people who man essential services as mentioned in notifications/orders/letters issued by Union of India including but not limited to government as well as private doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitation workers, staff of Delhi Police, Delhi Transport Corporation, Delhi Jal Board, Municipal Corporations, High Courts, trial courts etc. shall be allowed between Delhi and Haryana on production of e-passes and they shall not be quarantined unless and until they test positive for COVID-19 or have been found in contact with COVID-19 patient. 

D) E-passes shall be issued to all the aforesaid individuals within thirty minutes of receipt of the applications. Each e-pass shall be valid for the entire duration of the lockdown and could be used for multiple visits."

The present public interest litigation had been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking a direction to respondent No.1 (Union of India) to take action against respondent No.2 (State of Haryana) for adopting a restrictive policy and not allowing the movement of people involved in essential services like doctors, nurses,  paramedics, sanitation workers, staff of Delhi Police, Delhi Transport Corporation, Delhi Jal Board, Municipal Corporations etc. between Delhi and Haryana and to direct the respondent No.2 not to restrict the movement of trucks to and fro between Delhi and Haryana.

The Delhi HC while disposing of the PIL held that the aforesaid undertakings/statements are taken on record and the Government of Haryana is held bound by the same. It was ordered that in the event of breach of any of the aforesaid statements/undertakings, the petitioner shall be at liberty to file appropriate legal proceedings against the officials of Government of Haryana in accordance with law. 

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