The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the state government to take action against political figures who do not follow norms of social distancing and wearing of masks in public places thereby violating provisions under the Disaster Management Act (DM Act).
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M Nagaprasanna said "It is time for the state to act with firm hands to ensure that no person, howsoever influential he is, will be spared if he/she commits any violation of orders passed under DM act".
The court has asked the state government to respond to the application filed by advocates Puttige R Ramesh and Advocate G R Mohan by July 24. The application filed by Advocate Mohan alleged there was a marriage ceremony in the family of a former minister, violating all norms of COVID-19 control.
Taking note of these allegations, the bench said "If what is alleged is true, there were gross violations of social distancing and wearing of masks by leading political figures."
Ramesh, in his application pointed to the function held on June 27, to erect a statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda in which norms of social distancing and wearing of masks were allegedly thrown to winds.
Another application pointed to a protest rally held on June 29 without complying with COVID-19 guidelines.
The bench said "It is necessary for the state to look into these incidents if any violations are found and the state will have to deal with it."
During the hearing, Additional Advocate General Dhyan Chinnappa informed the court that grievance redressal mechanism has been set up in all districts for people to complaints of any violation of social distancing norms or people not wearing masks. He further informed the court that a direction has been issued to all Deputy Commissioners to ensure that the District Disaster Management Authority is functional.
The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on July 27. State has been directed to file a summary of action taken against those who have violated the directions issued under provisions of the DM Act.