The Gwalior bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court ordered to register FIR against union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and former chief minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday for alleged violation of Covid-19 protocol.
Moreover, the double bench comprising Justice Sheel Nagu and Justice Rajiv Kumar Shrivastava said physical congregations for election should only be held if district magistrate (collector) is satisfied with arrangements promised by the organisers given in writing.
The DM will send it to Election Commission for approval. Even after that, it can only take place if party or candidate deposits money with DM sufficient to buy double the numbers of masks and sanitisers for people expected in gathering. The order will remain effective for nine districts falling under Gwalior High Court’s jurisdiction.
The HC has ordered collectors of Datia and Gwalior district for registration of FIR against Tomar and Nath. Advocate general Purshendra Kaurav has been asked to ensure and report compliance of order at next hearing scheduled on October 23.
“Unfortunately, the political parties, which should be making the common man aware of staying away from congregations are doing everything to draw him out of security and safety of his home to become a part of a congregation to achieve their ulterior motive of gaining popularity to obtain votes, and leaving the common gullible and innocent common man to go home carrying Covid-19 virus with him and transmit the disease to his family members and friends,” the court observed. “In a contest/clash between right to campaigning and right to health and life, it is obvious that the right to health and life takes precedence,” HC added.
The court cannot be a silent spectator to the rampant violation of Covid-19 protocol at the cost of exposing the common man to infection by drawing him out from the safe zone of his/her home to physically attend congregations exposing him/her to life threatening danger of Covid-19 infection.
The HC suggested use of virtual election campaign that might be expensive but worth considering extraordinary circumstances.