COVID-19 norms being breached, says Karnataka High Court

Noting that norms such as wearing mask and maintaining social distancing were observed only in the breach, the High Court of Karnataka on Friday said that actors and prominent political leaders should be examples to the common man by strictly following these norms.

The court also directed the State government to take special measures to ensure that these norms are followed scrupulously at congregations related to religious places and to instruct the officials authorised to visit places of religious worship to ensure compliance.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi passed the order while hearing a PIL petition, filed by the city-based Letzkit Foundation complaining about large-scale violation of COVID-19 norms. The Bench also said failure to adhere to social distancing norms and the wearing of mask during such congregations could add to the already increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the State.

The authorities must initiate action against all those violating the norms, irrespective the status of the individual, the Bench said.

The Bench also directed the government to submit fresh inquiry report on violations of norms by prominent political leaders, including Ministers, while stating that the reports submitted were far from satisfactory. The instances include allowing prominent political leaders and actors into Chamundeshwari Temple, gathering during the death of Kannada film actor Chiranjeevi Sarja, and certain events attended by Ministers and legislators. Further hearing on the matter was adjourned till October 6.

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Sagar Biswas

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