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The petition seeks directions to the Karnataka government to allow the movement of residents of certain villages in Karnataka to reach Kasargod District in Kerala.
The Karnataka High Court recently issued notice in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) moved by the residents of villages in Kerala and Karnataka, seeking directions to open the Saradka border check-post in Dakshina Kannada district to allow free movement of people between the border villages.
Notice was issued to the Centre and the governments of Karnataka and Kerala by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice M Nagaprasanna.
The petition seeks directions to the Karnataka government to allow the ingress and egress of the residents of certain villages in Karnataka to reach Kasargod District (Perla) in Kerala.
The plea states that the villages in Karnataka have around 700 houses, which are dependent on Perla for their daily needs like rations, agricultural activities, electricity and medical facilities. The petitioners and several other residents have to regularly visit the border taluks in Karnataka. Further, many of the villagers’ children also study in the neighbouring taluk, which is in Kerala.
It is stated that the Karnataka government has blocked the Saradkam check post, which is the access point to Kerala.
The distance between Perla town, and Saya and Chavarkadu is around 15 kilometres. In order to reach Perla, villagers must travel through the Kalladka-Charkala State Highway. On this stretch, they must cross a road belonging to Karnataka near the Saradka police check-post, from where the distance to Adyanadka Marakkini is just 1 km.
It is further submitted that the Karnataka government had allowed inter-state transportation after the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown came to an end. Though the persons who are travelling from Mangalore to Kasargod are permitted to travel currently, the Saradkam check post in Karnataka is still not open, the petition avers.
The PIL further states that this action on the part of the Karnataka government is violative of Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
"By imposing unscientific road block even their access to their own state is restricted.....The action of the Respondent No.2 (Government of Karnataka) state is illegal and not sustainable."
The matter will next be heard on July 29.
[Read PIL here]