Other States

‘File cases against leaders for violating COVID-19 norms’

The Gwalior Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed Datia and Gwalior district administrations to register cases against former Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar for the alleged breach of COVID-19 protocol during election campaigns.

While issuing the direction on Tuesday, Justices Sheel Nagu and Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava restrained District Magistrates of nine districts under the jurisdiction of the Bench from permitting any political party/candidate to organise physical congregations unless they satisfied the DM that virtual campaigns were not possible.

The decision of the DM permitting any political party to conduct physical congregation should become effective only after the EC approved it in writing, the court said, while hearing a petition filed by Gwalior-based lawyer Ashish Pratap Singh.

Even if the permission was granted, the Justices added, congregations could be organised only after the political party/candidate concerned “deposits money with the DM sufficient to purchase double the number of masks and sanitisers required for protecting and sanitising the number of persons expected.”

Candidates are also required to file an undertaking that they would be personally liable to distribute masks and sanitisers to members of a congregation before it started. Instances pointed out in the last 15 days gave “a clear indication” that functionaries, members of political parties or the person at the helm were taking no steps to avoid physical congregation, the court noted.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:11:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/file-cases-against-leaders-for-violating-covid-19-norms/article32912677.ece

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