The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed challenging the 'The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020', promulgated to protect all officials engaged in COVID-19 duty, from physical harm.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice H P Sandesh, said "Without going into the question of whether Central Ordinance will apply to the State of Karnataka, the offences which are incorporated in the Central Act are distinct and different from the offences in the State Ordinance."
Advocate G R Mohan had challenged the Ordinance which came into force on April 22. It was said in the petition that the Central Government has approved the amendment of the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, thereby making the offence cognizable and non-bailable with punishment of imprisonment upto 7 years, for attack against Doctors and frontline personnel.
According to the petitioner, the Karnataka Ordinance diluted the Central Amendment by making the offence under Section 9 to be 'Cognizable and Bailable'. By virtue of this the accused persons are entitled to be enlarged on bail for the serious offences being committed by them against the Doctors, Health Workers, the petitioner contended.