July 16: The Kerala High Court has banned all gatherings, specifically demonstrations, processions and agitations in the state till July 31, except the ones permitted under the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) last month.
Considering a plea seeking to prevent public protests and huge gatherings throughout the state, violating COVID-19 protocols, a Division Bench of the High Court has directed the state government to take all preventive measures to ensure that there shall not be any processions/agitations violating the guidelines issued by the NDMA dated June 29, The Economic Times reported.
In its order on Wednesday, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly said the Chief Secretary of Kerala and state police chief should ensure that no political party violates the guidelines and orders of the court.
“Public gatherings not permitted under the orders of the National Disaster Management Authority shall not also be allowed. So long as the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority is in force up to July 31 or for subsequent period, depending upon the situation, police have to ensure strict action against all those, who violate the guidelines,” the court said. The court also directed political parties to rise to the occasion and restrain themselves from conducting any activities in violation of the orders issued by the NDMA.
The High Court on Tuesday had directed the government to take preventive measures to ensure that no political party or association violates the directives issued by the governments and judgements of the Supreme Court. In the plea, a practising lawyer had alleged that the political parties and its associated organisations in Kerala were conducting mass protests throughout the state, violating the guidelines to prevent spread of novel coronavirus.
The court on Tuesday had said the directives issued by the Central as well as the state governments make it clear that the guidelines are intended to be strictly adhered to by all citizens, political parties and associations, the violation of which is punishable.