Karnataka

Loss to small traders may be considered for compensation, says HC

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday observed that even small traders, including those depending on roadside business for their livelihood, may be considered for awarding compensation payable by the organisers of bandh in case of loss of business caused due to activities related to bandh call.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty made these observations orally while hearing PIL petitions related to violation of COVID-19 norms of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in public places.

“Business of small traders has already been affected due to the pandemic and now the bandh call by political parties will make them face more loss,” the Bench observed orally.

Stating that it cannot pass any interim order on the bandh call as the Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha, which had called for bandh, is yet to respond to court’s notice, the Bench said that any loss caused due to the bandh call can be considered by appointing claims commissioners as per the Supreme Court’s guideline as a separate batch of PIL petitions related to legality of bandh calls are pending before the High Court.

As per the apex court’s judgment, organisations responsible for bandh call are liable to to pay damages caused to private and public properties and individuals.

Strict action

Meanwhile, the Bench directed the State government to initiate strict action of imposing fine on individuals and higher penalty on organisers of rallies as part of the Karnataka bandh on December 5, if they violate COVID-19 norms.

Meanwhile, noticing that the State government has not come out with any action plan to deal with the rallies during bandh, the Bench directed the government to invoke provisions of the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Regulations, 2020, against the organisers of rallies in case of violation of mask and social distancing norms as the State is witnessing a rise in COVID-19 positive cases from the last couple of days.

Also, the Bench directed all the main political parties, the BJP, the Congress, and the JD(S) to submit actions taken by them to ensure that regulations are strictly followed during rallies while asking the CPI(M), which claimed to have taken steps to follow regulations during rallies, to furnish the documents in support of its claim.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 6:44:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bandh-loss-to-small-traders-may-be-considered-for-compensation-says-hc/article33253769.ece

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