A Petition has been filed before the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Indore Bench) seeking directions for the respondents to take actions under the 'National Securities Act 1980' (NSA), against the persons responsible for organising political gatherings in the State and to stop political campaigns violating Covid-19 norms.
The Petition has been filed by a social worker Kamal Bhagwat through Advocate Abhijeet Yadav claiming that the leaders of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) have been organising large public gatherings in the areas scheduled to undergo polls, thus, violating precautionary guidelines issued, posing health risk to the public at large.
The Petition specifically states,
"The public at large is being exposed to the deadly threat of the COVID-19 as the situation could be worse than what happened in the Nizamuddin Markaz incident of the COVID-19 spread when the total numbers of COVID-19 cases were below 5000 in the Country"
The petitioner has also declared in the petition that "in spite of various representations have been made before the authorities, this issue has neither being dealt or decided nor any actions on the persons responsible for such an act has been taken to date."
The subject-matter of the Petition in brief
The Petition states that the Election Campaigning is being done by the politicians of BJP in various areas of the state where the by-elections are to be conducted and the politicians of BJP are continuously organising public relations camps and social gatherings at large scale.
The Petition further contends that, while on one side, in the current situation of the pandemic, social distancing is being followed and various precautions are being taken, but on the other hand, large scale social gatherings are being organised by the politicians, and which may expose the lives of not only the people participating in such gatherings but also the other citizens to deadly risk and no action is being taken by the respondents herein.
The Petitioner has also submitted that the special guidelines and rules (related to COVID-19) are being followed and the punishments are also given to the persons violating such special guidelines and rules, but neither any punishment is being given, nor any restrictions are being imposed on the workers and politicians of the BJP as it happens to be the Governing party in the State.
The Petition further claims that the biased nature of the administration/respondents gets clear when actions are taken against persons participating in the gathering of Muharram, Tajia, under National Security Act, 1980 (NSA), but when 3 days gathering was organised in Sanwer at a large scale, and distribution of money, kalash, sarees took place, no action was taken against the people responsible for organising the gathering.
Grounds for approaching the High Court (as mentioned in the Plea)
* Because of the inaction of the administration, the lives of the public at large have been exposed to a deadly risk.
* Such campaigns need to be immediately stopped.
* The situation would be worse if no action is taken with immediate effect, as not only the people participating in such campaigns are exposed to risk but the spread of the pandemic can be nationwide.
* The inaction of the administration and respondents is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and special rules and guidelines issued in respect of COVID-19.
* Direct the Respondents to take actions under the National Securities Act 1980, against the person responsible for such gatherings.
* To issue a Writ of Nature of Mandamus directing the respondents to initiate inquiry and take necessary action against the officials responsible for such biased, negligent, reckless and irresponsible conduct.
* The entire concerned records be called before the Hon'ble Court.
While hearing this Plea on Friday (11th September), the Division Bench of Justice SC Sharma and Justice Virendra Singh sought reply from the State Government and DGP within four weeks.