On Monday, the Karnataka High Court asked the State Government to record details of actions taken against participants/organizers of the tractor rally for violating the government protocols, held in Bengaluru on January 26, breaking standards of social distancing and wearing of face masks.
Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum’s divisional bench stated:
“The State government will lodge a memorandum providing information of all the measures taken against organizers/participants of the rally/protest held on Jan 26.”
On February 18, the details must be sent. Under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020, the action of breach is required.
On January 26, as part of the ‘Jana Ganarajyo tsava Parade’, hundreds of farmers from different parts of Karnataka entered Bengaluru by tractors and other vehicles. The rally was held in unity with the farmers who in New Delhi protested the three farm laws.
On 25 January, at the hearing of a petition lodged by the LETZKIT FOUNDATION requesting stringent enforcement of the social distance and face mask requirements, the court was told of the enormous protest rally scheduled to take place in the city on Republic Day.
The bench said to, “We instruct the State Government to make sure that whenever such public meetings are proposed, it is completely essential that strict implementation of said Act and the Regulations framed thereunder shall be made. The Police commissioner shall issue appropriate directions on this behalf.”
The court also ordered the Judicial Registrar to invite Respondent 5 (Bhartiya Janata Party) and Respondent 9 Janata Dal (S) to appear before the court on the next hearing day. On the failure to remain present before the court on the next date it will be free to initiate appropriate action against them. If the court does not remain present on the next date, it will be free to pursue appropriate action against them.
The court had previously given a notice to the political parties calling on them to state whether they are prepared to give orders to their members/followers to strictly comply with the rules on wearing masks and keeping social distance failed by the two major parties to testify in court.
Prima facie we will be of the view that it is the duty of all the political groups to stand united with the machinery of the State for rigorous implementation of rules regarding wearing of masks and establishing social distancing. Time has arrived when even the political parties should share personal responsibility to issue strict orders to its party workers.”