BENGALURU: “Thousands assemble without masks. You want a red carpet for offenders and you don’t want to take action against them. Now you want to compound the offences. This cannot be tolerated,” the Karnataka High Court orally observed on Monday, rapping the State Government for not setting the criminal law into motion over violation of mask and physical distancing norms at the Panchamasali rally held recently in Bengaluru.
Hearing a public interest litigation by Letzkit Foundation, a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj said that the violations were unpardonable.
“We want registration of an FIR by tomorrow. Otherwise, everything including Supreme Court guidelines in Lalitha Kumari’s case will be nought,” the court observed.
When the bench asked the government to make its stand clear on setting the criminal law in motion under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, the state informed the court that it had levied fines on rally organisers and the offences are compoundable in nature.
The Court said that offences are compoundable only after the registration of an FIR and investigation.
Therefore, an FIR should be registered as per law against the violators, the court said, granting time to the State Government to comply with its directions.