Breach of Covid rules: HC seeks parties' response

Breach of Covid-19 rules: Karnataka HC asks political parties to file response

The High Court has made major political parties as respondents in the PILs seeking direction for strict implementation of Covid-19 rules

Credit: DH file photo.

The High Court on Tuesday made major political parties as respondents in the PILs seeking direction for strict implementation of Covid-19 rules - wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

The court has asked the political parties to file responses as to whether they will issue strict instructions to party workers to follow the rules.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay S Oka said that the Covid rules on wearing masks and social distancing were being breached more in large political rallies. 

The court observed that the state government had not taken any action in such instances and in some cases the authorities took some action belatedly.

“Prima Facie it is the responsibility of political parties to ensure strict implementation of rules regarding wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Time has come when political parties issue strict instructions to its workers about these rules,” the bench said.

Meanwhile, the petitioners pointed out that a political party - Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha - has called for a state bandh on December 5 and there was a likelihood of breach of rules.

The court directed the petitioners to implead BJP, CPI (M), Indian National Congress, JD (S) and Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha as respondents. The court called upon the added respondents to submit whether they were willing to issue instructions to their party workers to strictly abide by the rules of wearing masks and social distancing. The court also directed Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha to submit a similar response in view of the bandh called for.

The court also observed that the statement of objection filed by the state government was silent about the recovery of the fine amount. In view of the admitted fact that there are large scale violations, the court directed the state government to file supplementary statements of objections detailing the fine amount recovered.