No general or overarching orders for grant of permission to all persons desirous of going from Jammu to Srinagar can be granted: DB


JAMMU, APRIL 16: A Division Bench J&K High Court Comprising Chief Justice and Rajnesh Oswal while hearing a Public Interest Litigation on Covid 19 issued various directions.
In application was filed by Mr. Saqib Amin Parray seeking direction to the respondents for grant permission to and facilitation for return of Kashmiris stranded at Jammu. It is submitted by the learned counsel that the official respondents have permitted the Kashmir based High Court employees and their own employees to travel to Kashmir. It is submitted that the respondents have permitted other private persons as well. It is submitted that arbitrary pick and choose policy is being followed in granting permissions. The submission is that a similar provision requires to be made with regard to all Kashmiri families as well and there is no justification for the discrimination.
A Division Bench while dismissing the application and after perusal of a response has been filed by Mr. Sanjeev Verma, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu submitting that it is as part of the scheme for containment of COVID-19, that inter-State and provincial movement of passenger traffic has been barred. A Standard Operating Procedure stand issued by DMRRR for exceptionally allowing the movement of persons on account of medical grounds, death etc.observed that no orders are warranted on this application inasmuch as no general or over arching orders for grant of permission to all persons desirous of going from Jammu to Srinagar can be granted. DB further said that each individual case has to be examined on its own merit.
DB observed that on 16th April 2020, an issue has been raised by Mr. Ateeb Kanth, Advocate regarding insufficient sampling and shortage of technicians. A status report dated 20th April 2020 has been filed by Mr. Sajad Amin Shah, Additional Secretary to Government, Health and Medical Education Department informing this court that there is no shortage of technicians for carrying out COVID-19 testing in Jammu and Kashmir and the Guidelines issued by MOH&FW, Government of India and ICMR from time to time are being strictly followed. The capacity of testing stands increased from 100 tests to 700 tests per day and is expected to increase to 1000 per day. COVID-19 testing facilities have been made available in five laboratories. The matter is being reviewed under the Chairmanship of the Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department. It is further submitted that purchase orders to set up rt-PCR labs in New Medical Colleges at Anantnag, Baramulla, Doda, Kathua and Rajouri stand placed. Existing labs, rt-PCR machines on loan have been ordered from the Universities of Jammu, Kashmir and SKAUST-Srinagar.
It is further submitted that rapid testing has commenced and guidelines issued. The following steps have been informed to be undertaken:"Acquiring of fully automated walk away system approved by ICMR for COVID-19 testing with RNA extractor and MD, JKMSCL has been directed to place the orders CB-Naat (Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification test). Cartridges & True Naat are being provided by the ICMR to UT of J&K for starting the facilities of COVID testing at the District Level."
Division Bench observed that the report received from Director General of Prisons, Haryana regarding prisoners from Jammu and Kashmir who are lodged in Haryana has been placed before us. We are informed that 15 prisoners are lodged in District Jail, Karnal and 2 in District Jail, Jhajjar. Mr. Singh has informed that all detenu of Jammu and Kashmir lodged in Haryana are being screened by medical team twice a day; that the health status of all these detenu is thus monitored daily and they have been found normal till 21st April 2020.
DB further observed that in view of the above, it would appear that the jail authorities are conscious of the responsibility regarding the health and safety of the residents of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh who are lodged in prisons in other parts of India.
DB further directed that the DG Prisons shall continue to monitor their well being and ensure that the health and safety is not compromised in any manner.
Regarding release of Mian Abdul Qayoom, Division Bench observed that in response filed by Sr. AAG That High Powered Committee has taken a view that the release of a PSA detenu is not covered in the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court of India and therefore the request of the applicant for release cannot be considered by it.

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