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Avoid Large Gatherings, HC Tells Parties In Poll-bound MP

Avoid Large Gatherings, HC Tells Parties In Poll-bound MP

Ahead of by-elections in the state, Gwalior bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Saturday said that coronavirus-related restrictions must not be violated at any gatherings or events. It also advised political parties not to conduct a physical political campaign but opt for digital media.

Gwalior (MP): Ahead of by-elections in the state, Gwalior bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Saturday said that coronavirus-related restrictions must not be violated at any gatherings or events. It also advised political parties not to conduct a physical political campaign but opt for digital media.

The by-polls to 28 assembly seats, 18 of them in Gwalior and Chambal region, will take place on November 3. A division bench of Justices Sheel Nagu and R K Shrivastava was hearing a PIL filed by Ashish Pratap Singh, apprehending spread of coronavirus infection due to campaign rallies and other events and pointing out some such instances.

“Itseems from the material placed on record that the political, state and government functionaries are indulging in activities which are leading to congregations of a large number of people,” the court said, adding that it can lead to “further spread of COVID-19 infection”. “Thus, what is required and expected of political functionaries is to abide by the COVID-19 protocol, the restrictions and prohibitions imposed thereunder from time to time and refrain from indulging in any activity, conduct or behaviour which can lead to collection of large number of people,” the court order said.

If any rules or restrictions meant for prevention of spread of virus are breached during such gatherings, district magistrates of nine districts under the Gwalior bench’s jurisdiction should file cases against “political, governmental, state or social functionaries in whose name or on whose behest and behalf the said congregation takes place”, said the court. If such action is not taken, the District Magistrates will be liable for contempt of court action, the HC warned.

The court asked the amicus curiae advocates Sanjay Dwivedi, Raju Sharma and VD Sharma or any citizen to point out to court any breach of this interim order.

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