The Karnataka High Court Thursday directed the Director-General and Inspector General of Police (Praveen Sood) to ensure that the police register first information reports (FIRs) against violators of Covid-19 norms. The HC also maintained that such violations are cognisable and non-bailable in nature, according to the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases (KED) Act, 2020.
Further, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj directed the top cop to set up a team, including senior police officers, to educate the police on effective enforcement of laws to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection. Such teams should also monitor the registration of FIRs and investigation in cases of violations, including failing to wear masks, not maintaining social distancing, and congregating in large numbers in violation of the norms.
The Bench, while hearing a PIL petition filed by Bengaluru-based Letzkit Foundation, also noted that the police were hesitant in registering FIRs for such violations, thereby taking the law lightly, perhaps, by way of collecting fines. “We hasten to add that none should be spared for the violations,” the Bench said.
Referring to instances when FIRs were registered against prominent celebrities, political and religious leaders, the HC urged such high-profile citizens to lead by example. It is all the more necessary for the police to take strict action when this class of the society violates norms, the Bench noted.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru reported 10,497 of the total 14,738 new Covid-19 cases recorded from across the state on Thursday. As many as 66 people, including 30 in Bengaluru, succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours, according to data issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services.