Karnataka HC Urges Govt To Stop Public Rallies In Bengaluru Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

first_imgNews UpdatesKarnataka HC Urges Govt To Stop Public Rallies In Bengaluru Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases Mustafa Plumber12 March 2021 8:16 PMShare This – xThe Karnataka High Court on Friday orally orally suggested to the state government to take a decision on whether to allow holding of public rallies by political parties and other persons in the city of Bengaluru considering the number of COVID-19 positive cases are on the rise. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said “State will have to take…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Karnataka High Court on Friday orally orally suggested to the state government to take a decision on whether to allow holding of public rallies by political parties and other persons in the city of Bengaluru considering the number of COVID-19 positive cases are on the rise. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said “State will have to take a call. Even yesterday 488 cases were recorded. Everyday cases are rising and you are allowing rallies to be held, people are not wearing masks. You have to deal with heavy hands, numbers are increasing.” During the hearing of a petition filed by Letzkit foundation, the bench took exception to the memo filed by the State government in which it stated that a medical officer of the BBMP had imposed and collected a fine of Rs 10,000 from the organisers of the rally held on February 21 for violation of norms regarding social distancing and wearing of masks. The bench went through the amended provisions of the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Act, 2020, which provides for punishment by way of fine instead of imprisonment for violation of COVID19 norms said “A medical officer of BBMP has no right to accept compounding fee. No authority is there to compound, so you must register FIR.” The court was of the view that a penalty can be imposed by an executive officer but when it comes to punishment it has to be by a court. In its order the court said: “The memo filed by the state govt talks about violation of provisions of the said Act of 2020 and payment of fine amount. The question is whether in this case offense under sub section 1 of section 4 was attracted which is punishable by section 3 (A) of section 5.If this is a case of violation covered by sub section 1 of section 5, criminal law will have to be set in motion. No doubt section 10, allows compounding of offence punishable under sub section 3 A of section 5. Either before or after initiating prosecution. The compounding can be made by such an officer authorized by the government on payment of such amount as may be notified by the government”. The bench then directed the state government to take a definite stand in this case, if offence under sub section (1) of section 5 is attracted and whether offence has been compounded in the manner provided under sub section (1) of section 10, of the said Act of 2020, as amended. The State govt will clarify this aspect by filing an affidavit. It orally observed “People break the law by moving without wearing a mask. Take action, call upon them to compound the offence. Some message has to go that people have to wear masks”. The bench also directed the respondent 5, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to in a week’s time, make a simple statement on oath in terms of directions issued to party workers/followers to follow norms while holding of functions/rallies, etc. The party has sought ten days time to make the same which the court denied. The court also directed the registry to issue notice to the secretary of political party Janata Dal (S) who is respondent 9 and directed him to appear before the court either through advocate or in person through video conferencing on the next date of hearing, March 24Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more