‘Why not a single FIR against COVID norms violators during Amit Shah’s rally’: Karnataka HC hauls up police

The rally, attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, was held on January 17 in the run up to the Lok Sabha bypolls to the Belgavi seat

Photo Courtesy: Social Media
Photo Courtesy: Social Media

NH Web Desk

The Karnataka High Court has pulled up the Police Commissioner of Belagavi for not registering even a single FIR over the violation of COVID protocols of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing during a rally led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Belagavi on January 17.

The rally was held in the run up to Lok Sabha bypolls to the Belgavi seat.

Earlier, on March 12, the High Court had prima facie held that there was violation of the rules regarding wearing of masks and social distancing in the rally. The court had then directed the Police Commissioner to explain the action taken against violators.

Hearing the matter on Tuesday, a division bench comprising Chief Justice AS Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj expressed unhappiness over the affidavit filed by the Police Commissioner.

"Perusal of the said affidavit shows complete ignorance on part of commissioner of regulations laid down under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020", the bench observed, as per a report carried by Live Law.

It added, "Perhaps the commissioner was unaware about the provisions of said regulation made under the Act. The affidavit of commissioner shows that not a single FIR was registered against violators."

The court said, "Reading the affidavit as a whole, we find that the commissioner approached the matter very casually. (During) large gathering in Belagavi, rules regarding wearing of masks and social distancing were thrown to the wind. But the commissioner seems to be satisfied with the recovery of the fine amount."

The court directed the commissioner to explain why even a single First Information Report was not registered for violation of provisions of the said Act and regulations framed thereunder.

"We direct the commissioner to file an affidavit by June 3", the court directed.

The court also granted time to the state government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to file compliance report to the orders passed earlier by the next date.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the National Human Rights Protection and Corruption Crime Control Commission Trust, Belagavi.

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