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The Delhi High Court has issued notice in a petition concerning cross border transit restrictions between Delhi and Sonipat. (OP Gupta vs UOI)
Notice was issued by a Division Bench of Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula in a petition by one OP Gupta.
The Petitioner was aggrieved by an order passed by the District Magistrate, Sonipat on April 25, imposing blanket cross border transit restrictions between Delhi and Sonipat while granting exemptions to only a few categories of Government officials and for movement of goods not destined for Sonipat.
The Petitioner submitted that since Sonipat was part of the National Capital Region, a number of Delhi residents travelled to Sonipat for essential work and similarly, a number of Sonipat residents travelled to Delhi.
He emphasised that even doctors, nurses and court officials, who either reside in Sonipat or work for gain in Sonipat, were being prevented from entering/leaving Sonipat.
It was thus contended that the order of District Magistrate, Sonipat, was contrary to and violative of the Government of India directions issued on April 15 and May 1.
In response to the petition, the Haryana Government stated that the impugned order had already been withdrawn and a new order dated April 30, 2020 by the District Magistrate, Sonipat was in place.
As per the new order, accommodation arrangements for persons working in Sonipat but residents of NCT Delhi & UP had to be made by the concerned management at Sonipat so as to preclude any daily cross-border transit. A similar expectation was placed on Sonipat residents who worked outside its borders.
Inter alia, it was also ordered that persons tavelling in connection with supply of food and other essentials and ATM Cash Vans, who undertook cross border transit in and out of Sonipat every day, had to be mandatorily quarantined in designated locations during the entire time from their return to Sonipat till his next travel back out of Sonipat.
After perusing this order, the Court prima facie opined that the April 30 Order prevented and obstructed the movement of trucks from Delhi to Sonipat as well as movement of Doctors, Nurses, Court officials etc. to and from Delhi to Sonipat.
Thus, prima facie, the order constituted an infringement of Articles 19(1)(d) and 301 of the Constitution of India, especially when the entire National Capital and Sonipat were not containment zones.
It was also found that prima facie, the action of the District Magistrate, Sonipat was contrary to the orders issued by the Central Government to Chief Secretaries on movement of trucks and supply of essential commodities.
In view of the above, the Court sought response from the Central and Haryana Government and listed the matter for hearing on May 11.
Read the Order: