Bar Association Takes Up the Matter before Hon’ble High Court

Port Blair, May 28: Continuing the Writ Petition W.P. No. 5324(W) of 2020 relating to COVID-19 relief and services at the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the Andaman and Nicobar Bar Association led by its President, Shri Mohammed Tabraiz had pointed out before the Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta, Circuit Bench at Port Blair that the Andaman & Nicobar Administration has adopted dual standards for incoming islanders, which is posing danger to the islanders who are landlocked with limited medical facilities.

Hearing the Bar Association, the Hon’ble Court led by Hon’ble Chief Justice Tottathil B. Radhakrishnan and The Hon’ble Justice Arijit Banerjee ordered that the matter has been taken on urgent basis on the judicial side in exercise of Authority under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to immediately consider certain matters brought on record by the President and Secretary of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Bar Association, in particular with regard to incoming islanders.

The Bar Association has pointed out that the Andaman administration has adopted dual standards for incoming islanders. The islanders coming by ship would require to undergo quarantine for 14 days whereas islanders coming by flight would not be required to remain in quarantine. The islands being landlocked and with limited medical facilities are facing danger.

The Association also pointed out that all the incoming islanders irrespective by ship or flights should be put in quarantine, while the islanders moving from South Andaman districts to North and Middle Andaman or Nicobar districts are being put to quarantine but not the islanders coming by flights. The policy decision of the administration is likely to endanger the islanders and expose every islanders to the likelihood of infection.

Having heard the Bar Association, the Hon’ble Court stated, “In view of the above, we hereby direct the Union of India and the Administration of the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to forth with take all effective steps to ensure that requisite prudent protocol is put in place to regulate movement of islanders and any other person permitted to enter into the UT of Andaman and Nicobar by any mode of transport. The effort is aimed at ensuring that all requisite steps are taken, in a structured manner, to regulate and control the inflow and movement of islanders and other persons within that territory. This is necessary for protective management of the possible ramifications of Covid-19 pandemic related issues”.

The Hon’ble Court has therefore asked the UT Administration and the Union of India to place on record a statement touching all relevant aspects by 1st June 2020. The next hearing is scheduled for 2nd June 2020.