The Karnataka high court on Tuesday took the Belagavi City police commissioner to task for his failure to register even a single FIR in connection with a huge BJP rally held in the city on January 17 where Covid-19 protocols, including wearing of masks, were flouted.
On January 17, the BJP held a rally led by Home Minister Amit Shah at Belagavi. The Court was apprised that thousands of people participated in the rally, in violation of social distancing guidelines.
The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Police Commissioner of Belagavi for failing to register First Information Reports (FIRs) against violators who attended a political rally organized by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Belagavi on January 17 this year, reports the https://www.barandbench.com/.
Amit Shah’s rally was held at the District stadium where thousands of people had gathered for the BJP rally.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Suraj Govindaraj castigated the Police Commissioner for approaching the issue in a casual manner. Terming the affidavit filed by the officer as “ignorant”, the Court in its order recorded,
“Perhaps the Commissioner was unaware about the provisions of said regulation made under the of Act of 2020 (Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act). Perhaps the Commissioner is not aware of the said order as the State government has not complied with directions issued under the order dated April 15…
…The Commissioner has relied upon photographs in an envelope annexed as R2. The photo shows that without maintaining social distancing and wearing masks, there was a huge congregation on January 17. The affidavit of the Commissioner shows that not a single FIR was registered against violators. Reading the affidavit as a whole, we find that the Commissioner approached the matter very casually. A large gathering came together in Belagavi where rules regarding wearing masks and social distancing were thrown to the wind. The Commissioner seems to be satisfied with the recovery of a fine of Rs 20,900. We direct the Commissioner to explain why no FIRs were registered for violation of the Act of 2020 and Rules framed thereunder., the Bar and bench story added.
The bench noted that the commissioner acted casually and, relying on some photographs, recovered Rs 20,900 as penalty and appeared to be satisfied with that. It was acting on a petition filed by National Human Rights Protection and Corruption Crime Control Commission Trust, Belagavi. It said Jana Sevak Samavesh rally at the district stadium on January 17 was also attended by chief minister BS Yediyurappa, among others, and 1.5 lakh people, reports the TOI.