Monitoring and suitable measures to be taken at Maramon Convention in the light of Covid-19: Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court ordered that Covid – 19 guidelines / advisories / protocol, should be strictly followed during Maramon Convention to be held from 14.02.2021 to 21.02.2021. This was directed in the case of Sivadasan vs. State of Kerala & Ors. [WP(C).No.3449 OF 2021(S)]. The judgement was given by Hon’ble Chief Justice Mr. S. Manikumar and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Shaji P.Chaly.

The petitioner filed for a writ of mandamus, directing the respondents to limit the number of participants in the Maramon Convention, to be held at the banks of the Pampa river at Kozhenchery, in terms with the permission granted by the district/local/Government and police authorities.

The writ sought to direct the respondents to avoid any chance of mass gathering, unauthorized entry, chance of spreading of Covid-19 infection among the participants in the Maramon Convention site, and violation of social distancing at the said religious congregation place.

As per the Senior Government Pleader, the maximum number of people permitted for religious festivals, cultural programmes, artistic performances etc., will be restricted to 100 persons for indoor, and 200 persons for outdoor venues.

Senior Counsel appearing for respondents agreed for appropriate action, against respondents, if any violation of advisories / guidelines / protocol, relating to Covid – 19, and in particular, conduct of indoor and outdoor venues, is noticed by the officials. He submitted that all the details of the participants in the convention would be registered, thermal screening and social distancing would be maintained, and all the advisories / guidelines / protocol regarding Covid – 19, issued by the State / Central Governments, will be followed in letter and spirit.

The judgement stated, “It is also significant to note that, in a meeting held in the Chairmanship of the Minister for Water Resources on 15.01.2021, the organizers of the Maramon Convention has undertaken various aspects, with regard to the protocol to be followed, issued by the Government, in view of the Covid – 19 pandemic. As per the minutes of the meeting, it is also evident that, strict instructions are issued to various departments of the Government, to carry out the duties entrusted. Therefore, it is for the organizers, to abide by the undertaking made in the said meeting, and it is for the officers of the Government Departments, to discharge their duties, that are prescribed as per the meeting held on 15.01.2021.”

Liberty was given to the official respondents to seek for a copy of the register, if so required, for the purpose of monitoring, and to take suitable measures, for complying with the above said Covid – 19 protocol, in all respects. The petition was disposed thereof.

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