Karnataka HC seeks details of complaints against star campaigners
Observing orally that it was high time the Commissioner of Police of Bengaluru city looked into the conduct of his officers in dealing with violations of mask wearing norms by political leaders and celebrities, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday sought details of the complaints lodged against star campaigners during the R.R. Nagar bypoll campaigning.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty issued the direction after noting inconsistencies in the actions initiated against political leaders and celebrities for violation of COVID-19 norms such as wearing mask and maintaining social distancing.
The city police had informed the court that 18 complaints of non-cognizable offence were registered against Kannada film actor Darshan, KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, R.R. Nagar Congress candidate H. Kusuma, and workers of the BJP, Congress and the JD(S) for violation of COVID-19 norms.
The Bench wondered how the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) could say that Tejasvi Surya, a member of the Lok Sabha from Bengaluru South constituency, was wearing a mask during a rally on September 29 when a photo published by the media showed him without one. Government counsel Vikram Huilgol told the Bench that the rally had started from Chikkajala toll gate and had travelled till Malleswaram, and the DCP (Crime) had submitted his report to the court based on the input sent by the DCP (North-East).
The location where the photo of Mr. Surya was captured has to be ascertained, Mr. Huilgol said, while informing the Bench that he had requested the office of the Police Commissioner to gather data from the jurisdictional police. The Bench was also informed that complaints had been filed before the BJP functionaries for violating norms during the rally.