“Are you serious:” Karnataka High Court pulls up BJP after-party claims on the affidavit of not having held any public rally during COVID-192 min read

TANISHKA PANDEY

The Karnataka High Court warned the Bharatiya Janata Party’s BJP counsel stating that there would be action for perjury as it was making a false statement on affidavit.

The affidavit was filed by the BJP which claimed that the party has not conducted any public rally or gathering in the State during the COVID-19 pandemic. This drew the ire of the Court which stated that it amounted to perjury since Bench had photographs that contradicted the party’s version. The bench headed by Chief Justice AbhayShreeniwas Oka proceeded to point out that it was a false statement.

Chief justice Oka also expressed his exasperation by stating that the court had photographs of roadshows and gatherings contrary to what is stated in the affidavit.

The counsel for the ruling BJP party expressed the will to withdraw the affidavit and file a fresh one. The court stated that the present affidavit on record following which it granted them permission to file a fresh affidavit.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by an NGO ‘LetzKits Foundation’, seeking the proper enforcement of COVID-19 protocol guidelines in the State.

The court, in November 2020 had issued notice to various political parties after it noted that multiple political rallies were held by political parties flouting social distancing norms.

The court also pointed out that BJP has not complied with the Court’s order to the political parties to lay down norms to be followed by party workers when rallies or functions are held.

The court also remarked that it had expected the BJP to take the lead on laying down norms whenever a function or rally was to be held. 

The state submitted a copy of the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Act, 2020. The act provides for a fine as a punishment instead of imprisonment for violation of COVID-19 norms.

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