The first bench comprising Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramammorthy issued the direction on a plea moved by KR Ezhil Nadhi, who contended that insistence on e-passes amounted to
curtailing the free movement of citizens. Also, the State had no authority to do so as the Home Ministry had permitted travel without e-pass. Due to this, people were unable to travel to hill stations like The Nilgiris, Kodaikanal and Yercaud, he said.
During the hearing, Advocate General Vijay Narayan submitted that plans were on to replace the e-pass system with e-registration. He added that as medical facilities are sparse in hill stations and any spread of COVID-19 caused by visitors would be detrimental to the local residents spread out in hill areas, the process of obtaining e-passes was in force as per the Disaster Management Rules. The bench then asked him to get instructions on the issue and publicise them in newspapers.
It also expressed concern over people moving about everywhere without masks or following physical distance as if COVID-19 did not exist anymore.