Register FIR against people for not wearing masks: Karnataka HC to cops

News Network
April 15, 2021

Bengaluru, Apr 15: The High Court of Karnataka today directed the state DGP and IGP to immediately direct all authorised officers to register FIRs against all who violate Covid-19 rules on wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka passed this direction after noticing that police have been reluctant in implementing the cognizable and non-bailable offences under the provisions of Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act 2020.

The bench observed that the police officers will have to be educated about the provisions. The court said there have been very few cases of FIRs, though the offences punishable are cognizable and non-bailable. “We therefore direct the DGP to immediately issue directions to all police officers and all officers authorised for strict implementation of the provisions. The DGP shall also constitute a team of senior police officers who will monitor the registration of offences punishable under the said act and investigation thereof,” the bench said.  

The court also said that the state government should not tolerate the reluctance by police machinery in enforcing the penal provisions of the act.

“The orders passed by this court show that there is a great deal of reluctance on the part of the police in registering FIR for the reason that eminent political and religious leaders are indulging in violation of the rules, regulations and orders passed (by the state government) under the said act. In fact, the political and religious leaders are supposed to lead by example and therefore to give the right signal it is all the more necessary that police act swiftly and strictly against any person, especially prominent religious and political leaders,” the court said.

The bench directed the government advocate to communicate the gist of the order to the DGP and IGP immediately without waiting for the copy of the order.

Comments

Mark D ALMEIDA
 - 
Sunday, 18 Apr 2021

Too many jokers in India! Register FIR on all politicians who went for election rallies without wearing masks. India always want to punish the lowly and downtrodden. India can only be disciplined when it starts from top. politicians, bureaucrats, police, judiciary etc should lead us by examples. Then citizens will behave too.

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News Network
May 7,2021

Mangaluru, May 7: People in Mangaluru and other parts of Dakshina Kannada early on Friday morning rushed to shops and supermarkets to buy essential commodities in the wake of district administration’s announcement to re-impose tougher weekend curfew. 

Consumers had only three hours – 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. – for shopping. By 10.a.m all shopkeepers had to reach their homes as per new restrictions imposed by the administration.  Panic buying was witnessed across the city, and even in rural areas, as several people lined up outside grocery stores and vegetable markets. 

Several leading markets in Mangaluru city witnessed a sizeable crowd that lined up to buy vegetables, groceries and other essential items, larger than those seen ahead of the weekend lockdown. “People are saying there might be an extended lockdown in the coming week. So, I am here to buy vegetables and fruits,” said a customer, waiting outside a shop at Mallikatte market.

Even medical shops witnessed brisk sales. “We witnessed a similar shopping spree during the first wave of the pandemic,” said a shopkeeper.

However, in a worrisome trend, people crowding outside shops and markets failed to follow Covid-19 protocols.

By 9 am, majority of the shops in Mangaluru City downed its shutters while a few shops that were open were asked to close down by officials. In rural areas like Kumpala and Deralakatte, there was a huge crowd outside the shops even after 9 am.

The weekend curfew comes into force at 9 pm today.

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News Network
May 4,2021

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New Delhi, May 4: The Indian Premier League was on Tuesday suspended indefinitely after multiple Covid-19 cases were reported in its bio-bubble, ending a month-long relatively smooth run for cricket's most glamorous and cash-rich event in the middle of a raging pandemic.

"The tournament has been suspended indefinitely. We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely," league chairman Brijesh Patel told PTI.

The announcement came after Sunrisers Hyderabad's wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for Covid-19 along with Delhi Capitals' spinner veteran spinner Amit Mishra.

"...we will take stock if we can find a suitable window later during the year. It could be September but these are all speculations. As of now, we are not conducting it any further," BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla told PTI.

On Monday, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji along with Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy had also returned positive results.

The spread of infections had led to the postponement of two IPL games earlier.

The league organisers also issued a formal statement and said that the safety of its players and staff is paramount.

"The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect," the statement read.

"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind," it added.

The IPL said BCCI will do all it can to ensure that players in the event get back to their homes safely. IPL features stars from England, Australia, and New Zealand among other countries.

"These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times," the IPL stated.

"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021."

The tournament began on April 9 and ran smoothly before KKR's Covid-19 cases caused the initial jitters on Monday. The tournament final was planned for May 30.

There was cause of concern in Delhi too as a few groundsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium tested positive even though DDCA chief Rohan Jaitley asserted that "none of the groundsmen on duty" were among the infected.

Just days before this, three Australian players had pulled out of the league, citing Covid-19 concerns amid a devastating second wave of the global pandemic that has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure of the country.

The 2020 IPL had also been held in a bio-secure bubble in the UAE and at that time, infections were only reported before the start of the tournament.

India is currently recording over 3 lakh cases every day and more than 3,000 daily deaths.

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News Network
May 7,2021

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Bengaluru, May 7: BJP Yuva Morcha national president and Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya has rubbished reports that he apologised to those working at a municipal covid war room in Bengaluru.

Mr Surya, who is known for provocative remarks, had visited the facility on Tuesday and broadcast the video live, reading out the names of 16 Muslim staff who he accused of corruption in the allocation of hospital beds as the city and Karnataka struggles with a massive spike in covid infections.

The MP’s attempt to give communal tinge to ‘bed allotment scam’, however, evoked a backlash after it came to light that his allegation against Muslim staff was false.  

Fact checks over the claims that these 16 Muslim members of the war room were involved in a bed allocation scam led to a deadend, as only one of these 16 was part of the team of bed allocation — and he had joined it temporarily just last week to replace another employee who had a personal emergency at home. The other 15 — most of them young graduates in their early twenties — were members of other teams involved in indexing, home isolation supervision and discharge of patients who finished quarantine period.

On Thursday, Mr Surya once again visited the covid war room. Several news portals reported that the MP tendered apology for levelling false allegations. 

“My employees called me to say that Surya had visited the war room. He apparently told them ‘I have nothing personal against any of you. If anyone or any community is hurt emotionally by my visit, I apologise for that. I wanted to probe the bed allocation scam which had come to my notice, but if my actions had hurt anyone, please accept my apologies,’ he told the staff," said Shivu Naik, project manager of the Crystal Infosystems and Services, the agency that had hired and delegated manpower for the hurried war rooms of the BBMP.

“Those 16 were part of a 212-member team deployed at BBMP for various tasks — and there was no reason why they were targeted,” Naik was quoted as saying by news18. 

According to The News Minute, Mr Surya on Thursday (May 5) revisited the Bengaluru South COVID War Room at around 7 pm, and apologised to the 200-odd people working there.  “About the numbers that were leaked? I’m saying from our side, I’m really sorry. This was not our intention. We didn’t know that they would get leaked. That’s not in our hands... I was given a list, and told these are the people who work here who were removed for such-and-such reasons. I just read out the list. That list just had these names. I read them out and asked why these people — how these people were hired — all this happened in front of you. There are many things here I don’t want to get into all that with you,” the MP was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Mr Surya today took to social media to rubbish the reports about his apology. "When one has no news, they create fake news," his office posted on Twitter, responding to the news reports.

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