‘Submit probe report of Deputy Commissioner along with all documents’

After noticing that B.Y. Vijayendra, son of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, has admitted of entering Sri Nanjundeshwara temple in Nanjangud recently, the High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday asked the State government why then even ordinary citizens are not allowed to enter temples like him despite a ban imposed in view to lockdown.

The court noted that Mr. Vijayendra, in his response to the notice issued on May 27 by Mysuru district Deputy Commissioner, had admitted of entering the temple at around 8.30 a.m. during morning pooja time on May 18.

How to lodge complaints of violation of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour

As details of preliminary inquiry made by the Deputy Commissioner was not submitted before the court, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj directed the government to submit report of the Deputy Commissioner along with all documents.

As Advocate-General Prabhuling K. Navadgi pointed out to the court that a photograph of Mr. Vijayendra performing religious rituals inside a temple submitted before the court on behalf of a petitioner was actually of 2018 and not of during his recent visit to Nanjangud temple, the Bench said the Deputy Commissioner also should inquire about this aspect of the photograph.

When A-G said that Mr. Vijayendra had visited Mysuru district on COVID-19-related matter, advocates for the litigants pointed out that Mr. Vijayendra is not holding any statutory or constitutional post to travel from one district to another as such travel for public is prohibited in lockown guidelines except for specified emergencies.

As the Chief Minister’s son has now been found to have violated the ban on entry to temple, the Bench said it would pass appropriate order after the Deputy Commissioner submits the final report to the court on the temple visit.

Meanwhile, the Bench directed the government to give wide publicity in print and electronic media on the public grievance mechanism set up on June 2 to receive complaints of violation of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour such as wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing, and to take action after verification of complaints by the Deputy Commissioners of the respective districts.

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