‘Why is govt. hesitant to give details of vehicle passes issued for Nikhil’s wedding?’

Observing that it will send wrong signals if the State government allows a class of people to arrange weddings in style during lockdown, the High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday asked why the government was hesitating to give details of vehicle passes issued for people to attend the wedding of K. Nikhil, son of former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

The court made these oral observations after the government admitted that the Ramanagaram Deputy Commissioner ought to have specified the number of guests allowed to attend Mr. Nikhil’s wedding but defended the DC’s action saying that there was no specific prohibition on number of guests for attending weddings in the Ministry of Home Affairs’ then guidelines.

“If you allow a class of people to organise marriage in style then every citizen should be permitted to arrange marriage in style [during lockdown]. It will send wrong signals when you allow some persons...,” a special Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice B.V. Nagarathna observed orally.

Also, the Bench said the State government cannot act like a private litigant to bank upon a loophole in the MHA guidelines as the State ought to have enforced the objective of lockdown norms strictly. If there is no proper information on vehicle passes, then it requires an inquiry, the Bench observed orally.

Though the government said that now on, it will not allow more than 50 persons to attend a wedding, it had not replied to the court’s earlier direction to give details of vehicle passes issued for Mr. Nikhil’s wedding ceremony.

Restrictions in HC

Meanwhile, the Bench pointed out that the High Court itself had to restrict number of persons to attend the oath taking ceremony of five additional judges held last week.

The Chief Justice said that only 10 family members of each judge were permitted to attend the oath taking ceremony, and only the family members of a particular judge taking the oath were allowed to enter the room at a time. He also said that only three family members of each judge were allowed to attend the welcome ceremony for the newly appointed judges.

The special Bench, which is hearing through video conferencing the PIL petitions on issues cropped up due to lockdown, has adjourned further hearing till May 18.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 1:02:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/why-is-govt-hesitant-to-give-details-of-vehicle-passes-issued-for-nikhils-wedding/article31568028.ece

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