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The judge's vehicle had proceeded on the basis of an e-pass granted by the District Collector Sikkim East. However, on the SDM's instructions, the High Court Judge cooperated and asked the driver to abandon the journey.
A car sent out by Sikkim High Court judge, Justice Bhaskar Pradhan to transport his wife from West Bengal to Gangtok amid the COVID-19 lockdown was reportedly denied permission to cross the State border, in view of the lockdown rules.
The judge had been given an e-pass by the District Collector Sikkim East on condition that his wife remain in quarantine for a period of 14 days once she has returned.
All the same, the judge's vehicle was barred from going ahead with the journey by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate on duty. The judge, on his part, reportedly instructed the driver to cooperate with authority and abandon the trip.
As per the report, the incident took place on Tuesday at the Rangpo check post, when Sub-Divisional Magistrate Prem Kamal Rai came across the judge's vehicle while overseeing the area.
Rai has been quoted by the Free Press Journal as saying,
"I was at the Rangpo check post when the judge's official vehicle was stopped. I enquired with the driver, who said the car was going to Siliguri to pick up the judge's family members... But I asked him to take a U-turn, as no vehicles were allowed to cross Sikkim borders, at least till lockdown is operational. The driver had a word with the judge on his phone and agreed to move back."
He also reportedly added, "All this is being done to ensure there is no case of corona in the state. We treated the judge's vehicle just like we would have treated any other."
In view of SDM Rai's decision not to allow the vehicle's cross-border movement, the District Collector also urged the judge to cancel the plan, to which Justice Pradhan agreed, the report states.